Mashing the Start Button Out of Spite

Today at Arcade Expo 3.0, there was this guy who got frustrated over a low score at a machine that, when it was over, he forcefully mashed the Start button four times and stomped off, immediately starting a 4-player game. Presumably, he did that as an attempt to annoy whoever would play the machine after him.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen this happening. Is it common for machines set to free play? I have always assumed that when there’s a machine set to the maximum number of players, it’s because whoever was last at the machine does not realize pushing the Start button multiple times starts multiplayer (and I’ve made a topic about this habit earlier), and they’ll happily play all 12 balls as if nothing was wrong. But I’ve never seen anyone do this intentionally out of spite before.

(I know that on some machines, you can reset the game by pushing the start button again from ball 2 and onwards, but it was still a hassle to go through the first four ball 1s. I also know that you can restart a machine, but I still don’t feel comfortable doing so, and I don’t know how long it’ll take. Since this is at Arcade Expo, a crowded location, is it okay to do so? Will there be any danger of someone walking up to the machine while it’s still warming up, unaware that it’s doing so?)

It’s the same kind of clodhopper who would hit the buttons on an elevator on the way out!


It’s okay to reboot the game in this instance. Just don’t flip a Jersey Jack game off and on again quickly. Everything else will be fine. And a tech should be happy to help if you’re not comfortable doing it.


Resetting a game takes like 5 seconds unless it’s a JJP game. I’d just go ahead and do it.

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All right then–I’ll try to remember that next time I see this happen, albeit I’ve never seen anyone do it before, so I’m guessing it’s rare. (Regarding restarting the machine.)

What I mean about if it’s safe to do so at a crowded event like Arcade Expo is if there is some danger to someone attempting to play a game when it’s still warming up, or if I have to watch over and monitor the machine until it finishes. (There are no Jersey Jacks at Arcade Expo though, at least this year, which I think is a shame.)

Heighway and JJP games take a little longer, but no more than a minute. Because the credit button doesn’t work until the game is fully booted, no worries about walking away.

Newer Stern’s take a few seconds to power off. Wait until the display goes dark before powering back on. For any game, wait 2 or 3 alligators before powering back up. Most all electronics don’t like being quickly powered on and off (slammed). It will work, but it’s easier on the electronics if you wait a couple seconds.

Remember that newer Stern’s and P2K games don’t have the power switch in the usual location. Don’t want to look like a noob fumbling around trying to find the switch.

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Thanks for letting me know that there’s no danger to turning it off and back on.

I had forgotten about the new switch location until I saw the machines get powered back on for the split-flipper competition. Which of Stern’s machines started doing that?

WWE was the first.

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I can see why moving the power switch to the backbox makes sense for Stern, given that the power supply is there too. But it’s not terribly ergonomic. At locations where machines are densely spaced in a row, and it’s not possible to squeeze in between them, I can’t reach the switch without essentially lying on the playfield glass and have to find someone taller to help. (I’m 5’ 7", and that’s just a little bit too short to reach all the way.)

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