I like pinball. At some point there was an infatuation that kept me playing or fixing to the wee hours of the morning. I’d lift the hood to tweak a switch because it seemed just a little too sensitive or worse not sensitive of enough. I’ve collected, restored and played my personal games for over 8 years now and I am frankly burned out. I have a project I can’t stay focused on and I rarely flip my games on unless I have friends over, what happened?
One thing that has been interesting, as I play more socially, is that I have a harder time getting into playing by myself. The hobby for me is now as much about talking and drinking a beer as it is about playing. I have never been a very social person but now it seems that the hobby I could so selfishly delve into has lost its lonely luster that I could so readily lose myself in. I don’t think this is such a bad thing on a personal level but I’ve always been able to close the doors of my workshop and while away for hours doing the most mundane of task. Those task now just seem mundane.
With all of this being said I must say that the tentacles of this hobby are sticky and it is hard to break away from. The thought of ditching my pins has crossed my mind in the past and the creation of my charity tournaments was born from a need to do something with these social coffins that I had gathered in my basement. Sharing my hobby while raising money for a great cause seemed like a no brainer and has easily become the proudest thing I have done in this hobby. The pile of people that loaded into my basement to play really got me going again and I saw a new direction for my interest in the hobby.
Through the Pin(t)s for Kids tournaments and the RPL I got some of the love back as I found the sharing of my games to be as rewarding as playing them myself. Something about someone hitting a jackpot for the first time takes me back to the first time I lifted the playfield and took in the smell of stale cigarettes and beer that had seasoned my first pinball machine. Now that our second season of league is in full swing I seem to be looking for that smell again. Getting our league going has been great but now I need something new. I need something to re-spark the love I have for the hobby.
Hoping to find some of that love back this weekend as I am attending a semi-local tournament. The great thing about this hobby to me has always been the different aspects of it, whether that be the hunt of a new game or the accomplishment of a full restoration. Competitive play seems to be the avenue I have yet to truly explore. I obviously am playing in a league and have played in a few tournaments but I’ve never considered myself a player. I like to play well but I have the focus of my 3 yr old when it comes to competitive pinball. I have no expectations for this tournament other than to try to stay focused but also to have fun: to not take it too seriously but to not disappointment myself by not giving it my all.
Wish me luck.