Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pinball Inflation

The family spent the day at Arnold's Family Fun Center in Oaks, PA. My son, Hunter, turned 4 this week and he has been wanting to go gokart racing since last fall.

That reminds me; Full Tilt Racing provided a great day of gokart racing for our company (Runnemede Plumbing Heating Cooling & Electric) last fall.
Here's the video:

Anyhow, this post isn't about gokart racing. Rather, it is about pinball and inflation.

Huh? Well, at Arnold's, they have a section full of pinball machines new and old. I began by playing the newer machines and gradually made my way to the older ones.

I must say, I enjoyed the old ones the most. They were noticably old and from the 1960s or 1970s. I enjoyed them for a few reasons:

- The new machines were very complicated. There was so much going on; lots of lights, targets, tunnels, flippers, holes. All kinds of stuff. They were fun, but a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, the old machines were beautiful in their simplicity. Two flippers, not four or six. Very simple layouts so you actually knew what you were supposed to try to accomplish.

- The new machines had very elaborate sound systems as well. There was Baywatch, The Simpsons, The Sopranos - all with the requisite theme songs and sound effects. The old machines though, what a wonderful cacophony of clacks, pings and bells. Playing those old machines felt like playing an old instrument - you had an idea of what it should sound like, but were pleasantly amused once you started playing.

- Lastly, I couldn't help but notice the point inflation. It was nothing to score in the millions of points in the newer machines. But in the old machines, scores were only in the tens of thousands.

So just like the price of bread and milk and gas and virtually everything in the
1960s, the 'same thing' is much, much more costly today.

In 40 years will our kid's look back at 1,000,000 and wax nostalgic at what such a small sum could buy? Most definitely, if our government has anything to say about it.

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