When will pinball be considered "BIG" again?


People LOVE calling the flippers “bumpers” for some reason. Might need to go back to the ol’ Gottlieb’s “FLIPPER BUTTONS ON EITHER SIDE” approach!


Or paddles. “I didn’t even get to hit it with the paddles!”


I overheard someone who thought he was hot shit at Fish Tales (with a 3 million point score) because “his fish weighed 90 pounds”.


3 standups, spinner for a 0x multiplier, and maybe one boat ramp?


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I’d just like to say, yet again, that it was not your opinions that caused the drama in that thread, but the way you expressed them. Nobody ever has or ever will get “run out” on this forum as long as they are acting with respect and decency, and not attempting to cause drama or be passive-agressive (which this very statement could be interpreted as an attempt to do.)


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The match sequence.


Oh, ha ha. That makes way more sense.


One thing I don’t want to ever go away is seeing my newbie friends scramble to save the balls that are freed from physical locks and scoops during the game over match sequence. I absolutely love it. Haha


To answer the thread title: Never, sorry y’all. :frowning:


Something I think is worth asking but has not been asked yet:

Why do you want pinball to become big? Are you willing to accept changes to what pinball is if it means it will grow the medium?

I would prefer it if pinball became big too, but I’ve met people who are fans of niche things and openly resent when it becomes more popular or get angry at the thought that it could become more popular. The most common reason behind that is that they like whatever it is just the way it is and know that its appeal is limited, and that they figure the only way it could become more popular is if it changed to appeal to a wider audience. That is, they will not compromise and are afraid what they like will fall into “Lowest Common Denominator.” This mindset is pretty common in circles related to music, anime, and certain types of video games.

Then there are the hipsters, the people who get into things because they’re niche and/or impenetrable. To them, they enjoy being part of small communities and/or feeling superior to the people who aren’t into it, as it makes them feel special. When something becomes more popular, these people will abandon ship and move to something that’s still unpopular. I see this come up often among hardcore fans of beer, board games, and food: I see an adage all three of them have in which things that are advertised cannot be good because good things must stay small and become known through word of mouth.

I tell some of these people about how pinball fans, by and large, want pinball to be more played and more popular, and it absolutely confounds them. In at least one cases, the person I was talking to got offended at that statement.

Seriously? They do? What do they call bumpers then?

It makes me think ofthe people who call laptop computers as “notebooks”: What do they call the notebooks made of paper?

Whoever that is already ahead of the curve–he’s paying attention to the DMD.


For better or for worse, it’s the computer manufacturers themselves that marketed laptops as “notebook computers”, going back to the late 1980s… I guess to emphasize that they are the size of a notebook (vs the hugeness of a desktop or tower computer). You can’t fault customers for using the same nomenclature that the manufacturer uses.

I don’t ever recall hearing about any pinball manufacturer calling flippers anything other than “flippers”, although I wouldn’t be too surprised if there were a couple random exceptions in the early days.


It would be great if a bunch of people who didn’t know how to play pinball played in our tournaments because it was “cool”. More $$$ for me.


They have no idea that bumpers exist, or anything really. Just stop the ball from going between the bumpers!


I’d like Pinball to stay alive as long as it can. I like the amount of tournaments, games, and after market parts you can get to keep them alive.

My original question was about the article from a few years ago that talks about Pinball being big again.

Which I agree it’ll never be big but of we transported someone from 15, 10, or even 5 years ago to tell them there are 40k registered players with I would imagine close to 10k (?) ‘active’ players. I mean that’s huge. I bet there werent that many in the mid-90’s. Different world and probably not as many tournaments. With the internet really spreading the word and people regularly flying in for games it’s pretty big. Maybe JUST the right amount. When compared to the last 20 years.

Or maybe I’m wrong about everything.


By the way. I want to thank everyone for being cool and chiming in on my thought experiments :smiley:


Oh, are they talking about the flippers without paying attention to a nearby machine or talking about flippers without referencing anythng they played in particular?

Pretty commonly, I hear the drain referred to as the “gutter” or the “hole” as well. I admit I called it the gutter before I started playing.

Do you mean that you want pinball to become big/bigger than it currently is so that pinball manufacturers and communities can continue to exist for as long as possible?


Honestly it stayed this way I’d be fine. Its perfect


It’ll be too big when I can’t go to a tournament and play with the very best. Like if pinburgh got so big that some big fish/little fish separation was necessary at the outset, that would be a bummer.