I make it to Las Vegas, the one in Nevada, a couple of times a year on business and while I am there I always enjoy seeing my Dad. Once in a while we will take in a local attraction but it's hard to keep up with all the tourist sites as infrequently as I am there. I still haven't been to the Liberace Museum, the Clown Factory, or the Neon Museum for instance.
Add another one to the list. I just found out about the Pinball Hall Of Fame at 3330 E. Tropicana, at the corner of Pecos.
Hundreds of pinball machines, from the 1950s to the 1990s are all available to play in the 4500 square feet museum. Here is something else fascinating about the place, from their website.
"The PHoF is run by Tim Arnold, a veteran arcade operator
who made it big in the 1970s and 1980s during the Pacman era.
In 1976 Tim and his brother opened Pinball Pete's in Lansing, Michigan,
and it quickly became a gamer's mecca. At the height of their success, the
Arnold brothers weren't counting coins, they were counting shovelfuls of coins.
When Arnold sold his part of the business and moved to Las Vegas in 1990, he picked up the phone and started talking to the Salvation Army. Midge Arthur, the administrative assistant of the Las Vegas branch of the Salvation Army says, 'I got a telephone call from Tim about 15 years ago, and he said, 'If I had money to give, what would you do with it?' We had a long discussion about our different rehabilitation programs. He was, I think, kind of skeptical of all organizations. He wanted to make sure the money was going to help people.' Not long after that conversation, Midge Arthur started receiving checks for thousands of dollars from the man she says is, 'one of my strangest, out-of-the-ordinary donors we have ever had....'"
Me now: How cool is that?
My interest in playing games ran out very soon after the pinball machine's popularity started to wane in the 1980s. The last video game I ever played was probably Ms. Pacman - no kidding. I've never played Wii or Playstation or Nintendo or anything else in the modern vein.
Question though: As fondly as I think I recall playing the ol' silver ball back in the day I do not remember anything about the differences between the machines. Was the game strategy the same if you were playing the KISS machine versus, say, the Charlie's Angels one? Was there anything to make some pinball machines more challenging to play other than where the flippers and bumpers were positioned? I don't remember. Do you?