Old-School Pinball Gaming Comes to PAX East

Old-School Pinball Gaming Comes to PAX East

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A museum dedicated to classic gaming is bringing some nostalgic pinball gaming to PAX East.

If you're the nostalgic type longing for the days of classic arcade gaming, when quarters were worth their weight in gold, there's a particularly old-school panel being hosted at PAX East this year that's just for you. The American Classic Arcade Museum, the US' premiere museum dedicated to the preservation and play of classic coin-operated arcade games, will be hosting a discussion on the state of the pinball game industry.

The seminar will focus on the revival of pinball games, and the new pinball machines that are being manufactured today. Retro Pinball, a new company dedicated to recreating the bumper-action of days past, will also be joining ACAM's panel session and contributing to the discussion on how its pinball machines are developed and the state of the pinball industry. The panel will be held on Friday, April 6th at 4:30pm at PAX East in Boston, MA.

"We are excited that the team from Retro Pinball will be participating in ACAM's panel discussion at PAX-East," said Mike Stulir of The American Classic Arcade Museum Board of Directors. "Our facility is focused on the games from the 1960's through the 1980's. The Retro Pinball crew is actively developing new pinball games based on the technology and play mechanics of pinball from that same era. Retro Pinball is a great fit for us, and they will bring a unique perspective to our session about the state of the pinball business."

In addition to the pinball games panel, ACAM will hosting another PAX panel on coin-operated videogames, along with hosting a free arcade game of classic titles at the expo. ACAM is the first non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of vintage arcade games. Located on the third floor Funspot Family Entertainment Super Center in Laconia, NH, the museum is host to over 300 classic arcade games, like Asteroids, Pac-Man, and Centipede. Interested parties can find more information at the Classic Arcade Museum's website.

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The death of pinball really saddened me. I still remember enjoying The Twilight Zone, Doctor Who(of course), The Addams Family, Judge Dredd, Street Fighter...

I can't see why there can't be a permanent fixture somewhere that has all of the really old games. This is our past, guys.

Why someone(Williams) hasn't released the better games to the consoles by now is beyond me.

I love me some pinball and back in the day was pretty good at it too. Finding an actual machine "in the wild" is getting rarer and rarer.

I wish I'd played more pinball.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I can't see why there can't be a permanent fixture somewhere that has all of the really old games.

The main reason they're not around much, at least not publicly accessible, is that because they're mechanical and have a ton of moving parts that wear out or break or get out of alignment, they take an enormous amount of maintenance. Aside from it being a lot of work, there aren't exactly a ton of people specializing in repairing them, parts aren't always readily available for some of the older and more obscure machines, and the general lack of interest in them means no one wants to pay for the upkeep or even storage.

That said, there are some places that have some pretty good collections still. I'm lucky that I'm in Boston, because while the place mentioned in the article isn't exactly nearby, it's still a day trip. I've also met the guy who hosts this event. For a private collection, which he opens to the public, it's rather impressive. When I went up there a few years ago, he had something like 100 machines, with 60 in working order at any given time, from all periods in pinball history.

There are still people keeping old pinball and arcade machines/history alive, but you sometimes have to go out of your way to find them. They're out there, though.

Man, I do miss pinball machines.
There's something visceral that's missing from any computer simulation compared to an actual machine/table.

Miss pinball also, actually if I had a house and money, I would most likely have 1 or 2 in there. Some machine make nice decoration anyway.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

The_root_of_all_evil:
I can't see why there can't be a permanent fixture somewhere that has all of the really old games.

The main reason they're not around much, at least not publicly accessible, is that because they're mechanical and have a ton of moving parts that wear out or break or get out of alignment, they take an enormous amount of maintenance.

Aye, I understand the mechanics of the situation, it's just that there are far too many items being lost to the ravages of time. Videos, Films, Games, Pinball...important history that really needs to be saved, just so that we can show our children (and our children's children) what life was actually like.

Can you imagine explaining something like Space Invaders to a child of 6? Our local museum had a copy of it, and the look of fascination in his face was a joy to behold.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Can you imagine explaining something like Space Invaders to a child of 6? Our local museum had a copy of it, and the look of fascination in his face was a joy to behold.

Speaking of museums, we used to have some stuff like that at the Computer Museum here before it shut down (part of it merged with the Museum of Science, but they didn't have room for most stuff). That was kind of neat to be able to show kids like that. At least the rest of their collection did get saved and was sent to this place. In terms of games, they have something really neat there: they restored a PDP-1 and have Spacewar! running on it, which is what it was originally written on/for. It's the only working one in the world, and they rigged up controllers for it and actually let people play with it. Not bad for a 50-year-old video game/hardware.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Can you imagine explaining something like Space Invaders to a child of 6? Our local museum had a copy of it, and the look of fascination in his face was a joy to behold.

Speaking of museums, we used to have some stuff like that at the Computer Museum here before it shut down (part of it merged with the Museum of Science, but they didn't have room for most stuff). That was kind of neat to be able to show kids like that. At least the rest of their collection did get saved and was sent to this place. In terms of games, they have something really neat there: they restored a PDP-1 and have Spacewar! running on it, which is what it was originally written on/for. It's the only working one in the world, and they rigged up controllers for it and actually let people play with it. Not bad for a 50-year-old video game/hardware.

Very tempting, but a bit far to travel. Guess I'm gonna have to stick with the Space Centre for some time yet.

I miss pinball machines. I played the crap out of them when I was younger. Hell, if I come across one now I always give it a go. So much fun...so many quarters given away. I still remember my excitement when I managed to beat my brother's high score on the Adams Family pinball at the local arcade. It stayed there until the machine went away. If I had the space and the money, I'm pretty sure I'd become a collector.

 

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