When I tell most folks my age that the PS5 in our home is mine and not my kids’ I am most often met with a little grin and “really?” When I tell them, yup, it’s mine and if my kids are lucky I will let them game on it, I usually elicit a brief laugh and then we move on to another topic. I don’t think some folks entirely believe me!
That’s why my conversation at dinner after a day full of superintendent meetings in Grand Rapids was so fun. When hobbies came up with a new group of superintendents and I mentioned my PS5, I was surprised when the other folks at the table started talking about their interest in games. Fellow supts who know about gaming?! Yay!
While we had interest in different games, one supt was more into vintage games and shared that his kids had gifted him an arcade version of Donkey Kong for Christmas, because that is still his favorite game, I felt I had found kindred spirits.
We spoke about the games we are currently playing and what sort of arcade games we like. Pinball machines came up, which I also love. One companion spoke about how intricate the models were pre-chip circuitry and how wiring them was a challenge. We shared which were our favorite pinball games, mine was Comet.
Pinball games have been increasingly hard to find, but I did find some cool ones at Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, MI over Christmas break. The Inn has a few pinball games in one area of its arcade area. I found the Led Zeppelin game to be pretty cool and it was a fair table. Anyone who’s played much pinball has played crappy games where it seemed the only thing the designer cared about was how fast it could eat one’s tokens/quarters. The Zeppelin game was fair in that the flippers were not set too far apart and if the the game happened to shoot the ball down the center before you had a chance to get a flipper on it, it re-racked with no loss of the number of pinballs you got to play.
The supt with the Donkey Kong machine shared his hope to add a pinball machine to his repertoire and his plan to install a disco ball in this arcade room. That would be hilarious! That way, he shared, his neighbors would see the ball when it was on and know he was enjoying his arcade room. He also shared that he had supported an e-sports effort in his district and found that e-sports brought in an entirely different group of kids who were otherwise not involved in school activities.
It was great fun for this extremely mediocre, middle-aged gamer to have a chance to share what is exciting about gaming today with folks who shared interest and background in games from Pong to modern games.