Alternatively, this piece could have been titled The Pinball Arcade and Two Pinball Movies, in reference to FarSight Studios' equally impressive flipper-flicker that recreates classics such as the Theater of Magic and The Machine: Bride of PinBot tables. With Zen Studios creating original tables and FarSight Studios bringing the oldies back to life, it's a good time to be a pinball fan.
But that hasn't always been the case. Pinball, the mechanical godfather to the video game industry, once reigned as the king of quarter-dropping entertainment. Pinball pulled in more money than the US film industry did from the 1950s - 1960s. In 1983, one of EA's early hits was the classic Pinball Construction Set from Bill Budge. Creating these boxes of glass, wires, lights, and plastic where you send a silver ball careening around ramps, toward targets, and through tunnels is and was an art form that nearly died. Though the modern spin on the classic game probably won't bring it near its former glory, it has returned in some capacity thanks to select developers.
There are two movies that can help bridge the gap and fill you in about pinball: Special When Lit and Tilt: The Battle To Save Pinball. Both films are well-produced, extremely informative and surprisingly emotional. If you're looking to be a true pinball wizard, both of these films are required viewing.