Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pinball wizardry

So today Captain Midnight was busy playing Lord of the Rings Online, as he does, when I suddenly had a brainwave, as I do.

"Hey, want to come to the Pinball Museum with me?" I asked.

Captain Midnight mulled this over for a bit. "Yeah, all right," he finally said.

So it was that, after a bit, we found ourselves in the International District...

...just outside the Seattle Pinball Museum, which was actually open today (yay!).

The Pinball Museum isn't a typical "museum" where you stand a respectful distance away from the exhibits and politely observe.  Not in the least.

No, this is an interactive experience! All the machines are set to free play, and for the price of admission you can play pinball games until you come down with a repetitive stress injury or they shut the place down for the night, whichever comes first.  So knock y'selves out, pinball wizards!

The Museum has over 40 games in rotation (there were about 25 available for play today).  Most are from the 1970s and '80s, though there are games dating back to the early 1960s and one machine produced as recently as 2011.

It's the Attila the Hun Show!  Here Captain Midnight demonstrates a bit of his pinball wizardry.

My personal quirky favorite was a 1970s-era game called King Pin, with a bowling theme.  Other standouts were a flipperless game called Hyperball from the early 1980s, where you use swiveling triggers to shoot bazillions of balls at various lighted targets, and NBA Fastbreak, a basketball-themed game where the backbox has a special see-through section that allows you to flip free throws.

If you need the occasional palate cleanse (and who doesn't?), there are a few early video games hiding in back.  I played a game of Pac-Man and a couple of rounds of Galaga for old times' sake before heading back to the main floor for another round of sweet pinball-y goodness.

Wouldn't it be fun if more museums were this interactive?  I can't help but think so.  Imagine museum patrons re-enacting battles of old with replica claymores!  Finger-painting the Mona Lisa!  Breaking into King Tut's tomb!  They'd be fighting each other to get in, I tell you.

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