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Classic Games (Games)

Video Slashdot Visits the Seattle Pinball Museum (Video) 82

People who hear about the Seattle Pinball Museum tend to say things like, "Seems like a must-visit destination in Seattle," and, "Why did no one tell me about this place!??!" Timothy Lord, Slashdot Editor and Video Host, agrees. Watch the video to see a huge grin on Timothy's face. And if you ever get to the Seattle Pinball Museum yourself, you'll probably have a smile on your face, too.
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Slashdot Visits the Seattle Pinball Museum (Video)

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  • Used to play one old machine in the college commons, racking up free games and could play for over an hour.

    Oddly enough, it was the same machine Bill Budge [wikipedia.org] based Raster Blaster on.

  • by tedgyz ( 515156 ) * on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @12:37PM (#39186087) Homepage

    I can't believe they showed Gorgar [ipdb.org]. I still remember playing that for the first time back in the 80's. It was the first game I can remember that "talked". Certain hits played a ghoulish voice.

    • Re:Gorgar (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LMacG ( 118321 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#39186489) Journal

      I have a Gorgar. He knows seven words, You Me Beat Got Hurt Gorgar Speaks.

      I even got a Gorgar inspired tattoo - www.flickr.com/photos/larrymac/1593723048/

    • Gorgar was just before my time....my mother probably wouldn't have let me play it if she had seen it anyway....Sinistar I remember however. Anyhow, this was immensely entertaining to me when I first saw it.

      (If you have never heard of Gorgar either, this is worth listening to....it is so completely ridiculous to hear now)

      At the very least listen to the 20 seconds starting around 1:57. I am talking about the magic that can only be created by a goddamn monster that speaks!

      Link: Hear. Me. Gorgar. Speak. [youtube.com]

  • We have on in Georgetown in DC in a mall, but it's kind of small and unimpressive.
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @12:38PM (#39186099)
    I've played the silver ball.
    From Soho down to Brighton,
    I must have played them all.
    But I ain't seen nothing like him
    In any amusement hall.
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball!

    I assume you all broke out into song. Or did you forget your Doc Martens?
  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @12:38PM (#39186109)
    Do they have The Addams Family?

    One trick these pinball museums seem to miss is making them actual museums rather than just freeplay arcades, I'd love for them to have more informative exhibits, maybe a glass fronted workshop with someone restoring and repairing machines, details about have various features work (bumpers, dot matrix displays etc).
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @01:06PM (#39186387) Homepage Journal

      Do they have The Addams Family?

      One trick these pinball museums seem to miss is making them actual museums rather than just freeplay arcades, I'd love for them to have more informative exhibits, maybe a glass fronted workshop with someone restoring and repairing machines, details about have various features work (bumpers, dot matrix displays etc).

      Got a tour of Bally, back when a friend worked there. Pretty neat to see these things being assembled - wires everywere! Must have been a blast to design them.

      I actually discovered my love of pinball after years of playing video games. There's really something to be said for controlling and following a physical object on the board, rather than a load of pixels moving around.

      • It's just a shame that the Pinball makers (or possibly arcade owners) got greedy and they started designing pinball machines to get through as much cash as possible. Multiple ramps aiming near straight down between the flippers, wide gutters, non-existent ball saved indicators. A play session that lasts less than a couple of minutes isn't fun.

        I'd be interested to try out Stern Pinball machines. For one, it's a worthy cause to support but also their table designs are pretty neat (even if they use a small
        • by dogbowl ( 75870 )

          The recent (the 2000's) Stern titles aren't that great. (Although the word is that some of their newer titles are actually pretty good)

          The pinballs that could be considered the "golden age" seems to be the ones you are disparaging. Anything Bally/Williams from the 90's is now highly sought after by both the collectors and the players (which I guess could be the same)

          • It was probably around 2000 when I noticed that pinball designs were starting to make a noticeable effort to try and keep playtime short (I remembering Revenge from Mars annoying me but that had the contributing factor of it being a short table) and arcades starting to charge £1 a go made it even worse (when I first started playing it was 30p a go).
    • If they don't, Stellar Pizza [stellarpizza.com] (which is about a 15 minute drive south of the museum) does. Tacoma has Dorky's Bar.
    • My first question is: do they have spare parts?

      Seriously, with so many electro-mechanical parts, where do they get spares from?

      I remember taking an old-school machine apart--it was surprising to discover that just about everything was attached to the top sheet of wood (i.e.., underneath the playable surface)--the rest of "the box" was practically void of parts. (Ditto for the upright (score) part also.)

      • My first question is: do they have spare parts?

        Seriously, with so many electro-mechanical parts, where do they get spares from?

        Many of the parts are interchangeable and are still being manufactured because they weren't specific to the original manufacturer. I have a whole box full of spare parts that I got from Marco Specialties [marcospec.com]. New coils, flipper rebuild kits, ring kits, and a box of every size light bulb in all my machines.

        Where things get difficult are with machine specific parts. Artwork, playfield

  • I'm curious if anyone knows how it compares to the National Pinball Museum, recently reopened in Baltimore, MD.
  • I think I just don't have the nostalgia gene.

  • Austin, TX has "Pinballz Arcade" - 13,000 sq ft of pinball machines old and new. They don't do the $10 entrance & unlimited games model - but a lot of the games are only a quarter. Oh and it's BYOB.

    • bring your own ball?

      • Bring your own booze, they don't have a liquor license. It's also heavily family oriented so lots of screaming kids. They have a great collection of pinball games, but the classic video games are kind of lacking and in really poor condition. They should take out the crap stuffed animal crane type games to make room for some more classic video.
  • Pinball remains my favorite arcade game. There is just so much satisfaction in dealing with the elegant and complex physics engine that manages the movement of that silver ball, coupled with really excellent, lag-free, glitch-free graphics. Hard to believe that the physics have been in place since the vacuum tube era, when relays and solenoids managed the logic and tracked the score.

  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @12:47PM (#39186195) Journal
    I really liked pinball games like Gorgar & Pinbot, but my favorite of all time was Black Knight 2000 [youtube.com]. I haven't really cared for pinball games ever since most of them abandoned the plunger in favor of a trigger system.
  • I never really played real pinball machines. Once or twice, but I've never been good enough at them (or arcade video games, for that matter) to get my money's worth from a quarter...

    But I've long loved pinball games on computers... My favorite has got to be Night Mission.

    Nowadays I mostly play one with a sea mission theme on the iPad, along with the Slayer one.

  • There's also... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Howard Beale ( 92386 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @01:04PM (#39186371)
    the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, NJ - http://silverballmuseum.com/ [silverballmuseum.com] Took my son up there for an overnight trip last year. He thought there would be more video games, but still had a good time.
    • Ah! I just posted mentioning this place too. heh. Yeah, they had a handful of video games there, but not many. The best place in NJ was Richie Knucklez Arcade in Flemington, but I understand he recently closed the arcade and is now only doing sales, which is a bummer. He used to have the arcade open on Friday nights for $10 a head and you could play for hours. Great selection of all of the classics, too.

  • Despite less-than-pleasant memories of living with my stepfather, my fondest one is of playing the pinball machine he had in the house.

    It was called OXO, and had a tic-tac-toe board as its main feature. The "object" of the game, of course, was to win ttt.

    There was a button on the board centered between the angled bumpers just above the flippers which would light up the bottom center square, and the angled bumpers themselves, iirc, would switch what that button would put in the square - X or O.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Silverball Museum in Ashbury Park, NJ
    Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV

  • I went once, not long ago. I'm of the opinion it's stretching the term "museum" to its breaking point. I wish they had more museum-like displays and the owner, when I asked, said they're working on funding. The place is well worth a visit for any pinball fan but don't expect too much "history" other than old machines.

  • And of Course... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The Pinball Hall Of Fame in Las Vegas.
    250 to 300 machines from 1934 to Today.
    All proceeds to charity. Donated over $500,000 Last year.

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @02:09PM (#39187189)

    It's always nice to hear about an arcade, and this is the first one I've heard of that actually gets tax payer money rather than having absurd tax stamps on each machine (as well as the operators paying normal income taxes). Too bad they did that by calling it an "art". Might as well call it a sport and get Seattle to build you a stadium. But more than 30 games just isn't all that impressive, I've been in larger arcades, and there are some truly fantastic and much larger collections out there.

    I'm also rather disappointed by the $10 bucks to get in, play all you can approach. Doing that takes away from one of the key concepts of pinball, trying to win a free game. It would be like having slot machines on free play but with no payout, would get boring fast. OK, not quite that bad, but I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to see this the next time I'm in Seattle.

    • I get it, but I bet they still have the "extra game" function enabled - the one that produces a real hard knock somewhere inside the cabinet....
  • I was recently at a great pinball museum in Asbury Park, NJ. It was called the Silver Ball Museum and they had over 200 machines. Some of them went back to the 30s, I believe. The oldest one I tinkered on was from 1950, I think. It's wild to play the really old ones.

    Someone above mentioned Gorgar. Amusingly, I ended up playing that one probably the most. It is an older table, but I still think it is a great one. :-) The Addams Family is also a classic... if you want to get a bit more modern. ;-)


  • If you get the chance, stop by Laser Reflections [laserreflections.com].
  • by SuperTechnoNerd ( 964528 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @03:07PM (#39187969)
    In the Mid Hudson Valley, New York ,in a town called Beacon this would be illegal. Just a few years ago a guy opened a shop very much like this. Three weeks after opening the police paid him a visit telling him that pinball machines and arcade games are against ordnance and illegal in the town of Beacon. He must shut his doors and pay a $1000 dollar fine for every day he was/is open. The owner had no idea of this ordnance and tried to appeal, and get the ordnance off the books with no luck. So he moved his place across the river to Newburg. Talk about stuck in the past..
    • Maybe Kevin Bacon can make a movie about this where he is a pinball wizard and he shows the town is it OK to play pinball and video games.

    • by LMacG ( 118321 )

      Ordnance is explosives. An ordinance is a law. And what kind of a businessman opens any establishment without checking on local regulations and restrictions?

  • Flap Top Johnny's in Cambridge, close to M.I.T. http://www.flattopjohnnys.com/ [flattopjohnnys.com] Best pinball experience evahr.
  • I pay a visit to the world's second smallest biscuit museum. And have a cup of tea.

    I'll be tweeting, facebooking, videoing and blogging about it next week, be sure not to miss it.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant