Pinball and Organized Adult Recreation

Written by Jessica Kane

At the dawn of the digital age, business analysts surmised that all of the amazing new technologies would provide people more leisure time. In reality, because people are "plugged in" literally all of the time, evidence exists that suggests people actually have less time to enjoy leisure time activities and pursuits. Because of the ubiquitous nature of various electronic gadgets, many people find it difficult, if not impossible, to disconnect from work.

Understanding this fact, experts on work trends and habits suggest that people must be proactive when it comes to establishing work and personal time boundaries. People from all types of occupations can further this endeavor through participation in organized activities. In other words, a person is more apt to break free from the digital communication chain that keeps that individual connected with work if he or she has a definite, planned activity. This becomes the case even more if other individuals are involved in that activity.

Pinball Leagues

Although still in something of an infancy, pinball leagues are garnering the interest of an ever increasing number of people. Generally speaking, pinball leagues for hard working adults are following the pattern established by bars, taverns, pubs, and other venues that sponsor dart leagues. Indeed, dart leagues have become amazingly popular in many locations in the U.S.A. and in a significant number of countries around the globe.

Many bars, and similar establishments, have long had pinball machines on site. This equipment has remained operational through the years. In addition, some other drinking and entertainment establishments have added pinball machines at their venues more recently. At the same time, an increasing number of patrons have taken to casually playing these games, leading to venues developing pinball leagues.

When it comes to pinball leagues for teams, there are two options. The more popular option involves the formation of "pinball teams" for league play. In other words, participants pull together friends and colleagues to form teams to compete in league play. The other alternative involves individual competitors in league play.

Pinball Tournaments

In the 1970s, at a pinnacle of the popularity of pinball as a game in arcades across the world, iconic singer Elton John sung a tune initially popularized by The Who called "Pinball Wizard."

Ever since I was a young boy

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.

     --Pinball Wizard, by Pete Townsend

Pinball tournaments, at arcades from coast-to-coast in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as numerous other countries around the globe, were commonplace. Pinball tournaments for adults are making something of a comeback at this juncture in time as well.

There are increasingly different types of pinball tournaments. A common scheme involves a pinball tournament designed to raise money for a charity of some sort. Thus, participants not only have the ability to socialize and engage in an entertaining activity, their efforts benefit the work of a nonprofit in the process.

Another derivation of the pinball tournament is a type designed for families. Many people like to find wholesome and entertaining activities that can be enjoyed by their entire families. Pinball tournaments provide such an opportunity.

Churches and schools are apt to sponsor a family-focused pinball tournament. This type of event is likely to be organized to benefit financially the organization that pulls the tournament together in the first instance, resulting in a duality of benefits for families that participate in such a tournament.

Pinball Parties

Another way in which pinball machines play a role in advancing enjoyable socialization for over-taxed adults is via pinball parties. As interest in pinball has increased in public settings, so has the presence of pinball machines in private residences.

Pinball parties provide an easy theme through which a person readily and easily can organize a gathering in his or her home for family, friends, and even work colleagues. Pinball gaming can be the center of such an event. On the other hand, playing pinball can be an interesting element of a larger-themed function.

One of the enjoyable aspects of pinball at home is the fact that a person can select a machine, or machines, from a particular era. For example, a person might prefer an "older school" derivation of the game from the 1970s. These vintage classics remain highly popular not only with Baby Boomers but also for people in subsequent generations who like the look, feel, and concept of these iconic machines.

About the Author

Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more