Saskatoon group keeps pinball machines plugged in
Saskatchewan Association of Pinball Players has provided a few locations with pinball machines
When people think of popular video games, recent titles like Candy Crush Saga and Grand Theft Auto come to mind.
Whether it's on your iPhone, Xbox One, or Playstation 4, modern gaming is all about the latest technology. But a small group of people in Saskatchewan aren't giving up on a classic.
Saskatoon's Jason Carroll has loved pinball for as long as he can remember.
"Walking into any corner store or in small town Saskatchewan the gas station had a pinball machine," Carroll said. "Mom and dad would give you a few quarters and you could sit there for an hour playing pinball."
He kept up his passion for the steel ball through his university studies, but arcades quickly started to close their doors.
"Pinball disappeared," he said. "The age of the Internet and the home console and in the bars VLTs, everything took people's attention and money away from pinball."
Pinball is real social gaming- Jason Carroll
The demise of his favourite game inspired Carroll and a friend to co-found the Saskatchewan Association of Pinball Players (SAPP).
"SAPP started about three years," Carroll said. "Just a buddy and I were bouncing ideas off each other and sort of said, 'Hey, why don't we start a club.' I don't know how more geeky you can get than that."
There were few places to play pinball in Saskatoon until Carroll stepped up. Carroll now owns 11 pinball machines and has put three of them at Sports on Tap so others can play too.
Within the past year, SAPP members have added machines to Specklebelly's Brewpub and the Adobe Inn in Martensville.
"Pinball is real social gaming," he said. "That term has kind of lost its true meaning because people are on their mobile devices or on their Xbox with a headset."
Carroll said no modern console or video game can ever replace the experience of throwing quarters and loonies into a pinball machine.
"It's awesome at our tournaments and there's a lot of drama," he said. "It's a physical game too. You gotta nudge and give the machine a little push once in a while. Guys have different playing styles and they get right into it."
The group charges an annual membership fee of $25 and holds tournaments on the last Tuesday of every month. For more information, visit the SAPP website.