The Silverball Pinball Museum in New Jersey Is My Everything
Pinball is pretty much all I care about. I make art and I write and I have friends and blah blah blah, but it’s all just a means to get quarters and play pinball.
The best place to play pinball on the East Coast is the Silverball Museum in Asbury, New Jersey. The entrance fees vary, but for $20 you can stay all day and play every machine they have, all of which are free once you’re inside. The photos sprinkled throughout this blog post are pictures of some of my favorite games at the museum.
Pinball is a beautiful game that was originally like pachinko, in that it was used for gambling as well as recreational purposes. Much like today, pinball players of yore would pull back a spring-loaded plunger and shoot a metal ball through a playfield covered in pins and hope that the ball hit some targets. Eventually someone made a machine with six flippers, adding a stronger element of skill to the game. Not long after that, someone else decided to keep the flippers but simplify the operation by controlling all of them with just two buttons, and that’s how modern pinball was born.
Pinball machines are sort of like video arcade games but much more unique. The production run of an average machine usually ranges between 500 and 10,000. They also contain miles and miles of wire, which is neither here nor there, but pretty neat nonetheless. They are hand-constructed and almost all of them are collectors’ items.