In an era of video games, a seemingly antiquated arcade-style game is experiencing a renaissance on Vancouver Island.
Curious Comicon took place in Nanaimo on Saturday, May 6, at Country Club Centre, and among the attractions was a pinball machine exhibit. Video game arcades aren’t as common as in the past; however, Denham Wall, of the Mid Island Pinball League, said pinball’s popularity seems to be gaining as people seem to be favouring “more tactile games.”
“They like to say it’s a world under glass,” Wall told the News Bulletin. “It’s you and you’re just trying to make your shots. You’re aiming and when you’re in the zone, it’s good. It’s similar to playing golf. You’re aiming your shots and when you make them, it feels good.”
And like a golf course, Wall said every pinball machine is unique.
“Every course, every hole is different from another one; it’s all the same game, same rules,” he said. “Pinball is exactly the same way, but the layout is different … once you learn the game and you know what you’re doing then it becomes a lot more fun.”
Wall said the No. 1 rule is “good luck, have fun.”
Members usually meet once a week at alternate locations between Nanaimo and Chemainus, and play under the International Flipper Pinball Association governing body which allows players to be ranked provincially, nationally and internationally. In the Nanaimo area, the league meets at Black Diamond Collectibles in Cedar.
A launch party for a pinball machine based on the rock band the Foo Fighters is set for May 21 at Black Diamond and a women’s tournament is scheduled for May 28.
As for the Curious Comicon convention as a whole, Mike Drummond, the comicon’s non-profit society president, said he was very pleased with the turnout.
“It’s hard, when we don’t sell tickets, to see who’s going to come out,” he said. “The thing that amazes me about the show is all the little kids. You don’t see them at the big shows because you’re not going to spend the money … it’s grandma and grandpa, little kids and that’s my energy source.”