At Yesterday’s Pintastic NE Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball held a seminar about his business that produces some of the best pinball machines on the market. These games are constantly in demand both on the market and at the show:
During the seminar one of the attendees asked him an obvious question, why has he made it when others have failed? Here was his answer.
This is not a light thing to say because it must be remembered he started this business in the Obama years before the Trump boom AND because when it comes down to it a Pinball machine is not a necessity.
I think thanking God and a bunch of others is important as was his decision to market to individuals, but for my money the real secret is the fact that in terms of subject matter, video, artwork and display, all of his games are PG rated or lower. I asked him why he made that decision and his answer was telling
Note that he didn’t say: “I don’t think anyone should make an R rated game”, he just decided that as a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and a Catholic Eucharistic Minister involved in his church, he decided that he wasn’t going to making anything that wasn’t family friendly.
In an era when kindergartens are having very inappropriate stuff pushed at them and Disney has apparently decided that being “woke” is more important that being family friendly that’s an incredibly radical decision.
Like Blogging and Quilting etc the Pinball world has its giants and we interviewed several of them at Pintastic NE
Let’s start with the designers like Barry Oursler who was a featured speaker. He is a soft spoken man who approached me because of my Doctor Who scarf and told me he designed a house for his cats based on the TARDIS, that was easy for him as he had designed the Doctor Who pinball machine along with many other favorite over his long career. He was kind enough to wait for my son and I to get a game in before sitting for an interview
Mr. Oursler seems quite humbled with all the attention he is getting these days over his work.
Next let me introduce you to David Thiel whose sound work and composition you have heard a lot of if you’ve been anywhere near a pinball machine.
At this point my camera battery finally gave up it’s ghost so we moved to the emergency backup camera
His description of what he does really emphasizes that what he does is in fact art.
He also spoke at the event here is a very brief clip
The real stars of the show of course are the games and the games that brought the most attention were those by , you guessed it Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball.
His great game DialedIn based on a cellphone is worth a few videos
and here is the legendary Selfie mode
Dialed in is the first totally original product as opposed to the Hobbit which was the star of last year
and a source of success for me this year
But to me my favorite of his games will always be Wizard of Oz
But no matter how cool or well made a machine is, sooner or later it will need some work and that’s where TNT Amusements and Internet Sensation Todd Tuckey comes in. He connected to an interview and for the only time at the event I was on camera with him.
As he said his talk went two hours. Every seat was taken and I had to sit in the far back which is why these two video clips of his “pre-talk” talk
have such poor sound
and he makes a great point that a lot of the machines he works on are 20 or 30 years old or more, machines that David Thiel may have done the sound and Barry Oursler might have designed when we were much younger, yet thanks to Todd and his crew people continue to enjoy them.
Perhaps in a decade he will be fixing Jersey Jack’s machines as well.
So all of these folks should take a bow, because guys like them make this hobby possible.
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