NEWS : Tilt! Old-school pinball is no longer old-school : VIDEO and Article : AP NEWS
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) — The old-school arcade game of pinball is resurging in popularity.
Interest has skyrocketed over the last decade or so, with the number of players and competitions growing worldwide, according to the International Flipper Pinball Association. There were 500 players in 50 competitions worldwide in 2006, according to the IFPA. In 2017, there were nearly 4,500 competitions and more than 55,000 players.
“Pinball is not going away,” says pinball player Zach Sharpe, also the spokesman for the world’s leading pinball manufacturer Stern Pinball, Inc. in Elk Grove Village, a Chicago suburb. “It can’t be replicated and I think that’s why it never truly goes away.”
The first game ever patented was in 1871, but access to games stalled from the 1940s through the 1970s with some cities banning pinball because it was deemed to be gambling, according to Roger Sharpe, Zach’s father, who wrote the book “Pinball!”
The elder Sharpe is known in the pinball world for convincing the New York City Council that the game is more skill than luck, leading to the city lifting its ban in 1976 and precipitating the removal of similar restrictions elsewhere.
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Thanks to Teresa Crawford and the AP News for the pictures and article.