Pinball - Tilting Into The Fandom
Does Pinball really go back to the 1700s? Why the resurgence recently? And is it more about playing, collecting, or building? We've got special guest, Jessica, from the Pinball Podcast to help us out!
## Episode Outline
### Fandom Facts
**History and Origins:**
> Pinball is a type of arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball table (or "pinball machine"). The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Many modern pinball machines include a story line where the player must complete certain objectives in a certain fashion to complete the story, usually earning high scores for different methods of completing the game. Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain a certain number of times. Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning "extra balls" and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as "replays").
> — [Wikipedia - Pinball](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball)
Interest in Pinball has been [on the decline since 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F0gfk5), but has been stable since around 2015. However, since pinball has existed in some form since arguable the 1700s or 1800s... this isn't a lot of data to work with.
The top ten countries for pinball, by search volume, are as follows: Hungary, France, Chile, Belgium, Croatia, Netherlands, Australia, Serbia, Germany, Uruguay (Canada is 13th, United States is 16th).
### [Last Episode's](https://fanthropological.com/vampirechronicles) Famous Last Words
**T:** Why has there been a revival of pinball in the last decade?
[//You see, pinball spent the latter half of the ’00s in a state of living death. Stern Pinball, then the only pinball company left, had put out some solid machines before 2005 (Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons Pinball Party), but it soon found itself having to cut costs to survive. The company eventually had to compromise on the quality of the games it was shipping and wound up axing significant top talent to make ends meet. This was a time where every Stern Pinball release felt like it could’ve been the pinball world’s last. Then Jersey Jack announced that he was getting out of the coin-op distribution and operating business, and was going to pursue pinball manufacturing. And the pinball industry exploded.]: #
**G:** Is there another pop culture touchstone apart from Tommy? Was there a Fonz of pinball?
**Z:** How do these pinball fans feel about digital pinball?
**Vrai:** How did the connection between pinball places and bars happen?
### Main Discussion
**Topics covered in this episode:** TBD
### Spotlight: [Project Pinball](http://projectpinball.org/)
> Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Project Pinball Charity is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that places pinball machines in children’s hospitals to provide recreational relief to patients, family members, and hospital staff. We have been donating and maintaining pinball machines since 2011, and have since become a nationwide organization with pinball machines in hospitals across the United States. We provide all the equipment, parts, supplies and the regular maintenance at no cost to the hospital.
> We have donated 39 pinball machines to 35 different hospitals in 18 different states.
> — [Project Pinball - About](http://projectpinball.org/about)
### Spotlight: [Belles and Chimes Pinball](http://bellesandchimespinball.com/)
> Belles & Chimes is an international network of inclusive women's pinball leagues run by women, for women. The organization was founded in 2013 in Oakland, California.
> Our mission is to provide a fun, social environment for women to play pinball together.
> — [Belles and Chimes Pinball](http://bellesandchimespinball.com/)
### Spotlight: [Pinball Map](http://pinballmap.com/)
> Pinball Map is a crowdsourced pinball locator for public pinball machines. And we have a mobile app!
> — [Pinball Map](http://pinballmap.com/)
### Famous Last Words
Our chance (and yours, if you're watching on [twitch.tv/thenickscast](https://twitch.tv/thenickscast)) to have some (in)famous last words about next week's topic before we've done any prep work! Next week, we'll be talking about the fans and fandom of the _Alien_ franchise!
**T:** What do fans think about Prometheus? Which do they dislike more, Alien Resurrection or Prometheus?
**G:** Alien Quadrilogy... What's the deal with that? Is there a sense of which is more beloved, Alien or Aliens?
**Z:** Within the fandom ... is there an enduring love of Metroid?
**Jessica:** If Jonesy had his own spinoff movie what would it be about?
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## What is "Fanthropological"?
Every week, Fanthropological delivers over an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation!
We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture.
- All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!
Brought to you by The Nickscast of Fanthropological