The return of the pinball machine
The world of pinball slowly comes out of its stupor. Public events arouse the interest of the younger generation. What if these mythical machines are back on the scene?
Nicolas neve, Roberto Ceccarelli, Kaminski
Fatima (8) and Salvator (6) play pinball with confidence. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. Flippers are full of themes, colors, and d?game elements. The details are always splendid. The flippers of the Swiss flipper tour are open to all. The flippers of the Swiss flipper tour are open to all. The flippers of the Swiss flipper tour are open to all. Common part for Denis Ritter and his son Hugo.
The decline of bistros and their games
Today, things have changed. The trough of the wave of the 2000s was devastating. “The spirit of the bistro has changed radically, and with it, the state of mind of the game within it,” stresses Christian Gaillard. It must be said that this professional from the canton of pinball knows a lot about it. Fell into it at the age of 21, his passion remained intact. Rental, sale, repair, parts, Search, collection: the approach of this forty-year-old is global. He owns more than 300 machines: “I don’t count them anymore.”Moreover, almost all the machines of the Swiss Flipper Tour (see the interview and the dates on pages 14 and 17) belong to him.
Young people get started
However, a wind of renewal seems to be blowing: this game, unlike the others, arouses the interest of young adults and sometimes children. “I don’t have any requests from people in their twenties who want to buy a pinball machine,” points out the caller. That’s normal; you have to count 5000 francs anyway. On the other hand, interest is evident as soon as there is free access.”It must be said that with their scarcity, the flippers are rated. Same as vintage cars. The game thus becomes difficult for younger players in terms of the acquisition. “Hence the interest of an event like the Swiss Flipper Tour. They’re under a lot of strain, and I have a lot of maintenance. But it democratizes him by bringing him a new youth.”
Neither Fatima (8 years old) nor Salvator (6 years old) will contradict their “uncle Christian”: at each visit, the parties follow one another. For Fatima, the flipper is a separate entertainment: “it’s also a game for girls, not just for boys!”
With its themes of films, Heroes, Comics, athletes and the possibility to play alone or in Group, there is no doubt that the pinball machine can return to the front of the stage. On one condition, however: that the public has easy access. One of the solutions? Have it officially recognized as a game in its rights, such as darts or billiards.
With its stars like the 1997 Medieval Madness (which costs up to 10,000 francs), the pinball world is full of nuggets. “There are the ancients who are splendid, colorful, like the 1979 Supersonic (see cover photo). On the other hand, the level of play is not extraordinary. We’re a long way from The Hobbit that just came out.”
The pinball machine is also emotional. Christian often welcomes customers looking for their teenage machine: “many were scrapped in the 1980s.”But the challenge today is to find spare parts such as gums, ramps or decorations to renovate them. “I’ll take it if ever!” lancet-il. And what about the future of the pinball machines? “We need to make them more accessible to young people to re-establish a dynamic. As soon as a child sees a pinball machine, the magic takes effect. Look at Salvator and Fatima; they haven’t moved!”
With more than 300 flippers, Christian Gaillard knows it: “it’s a huge job to renovate them, you have to find the gums, the ramps, the targets, not to mention the electronics.»
A long-awaited decision
Levente Tregova was crowned European pinball champion in Madrid in 2012. He fights for his passion and wants Swiss Olympic to recognize the pinball machine as a sport in its own right.
He is ranked 145th in the world in the flipper players ‘ standings and was crowned the winner of the Swiss Flipper Tour in 2015. Last year, Levente Tregova flew to the United States where he hardly set foot outside the pinball rooms. This 39-year-old athlete lives his passion to the full. He has been competing around the world for over a decade. He became European champion in Madrid in 2012.
Two years ago, the player opened his pinball club with thirty machines in Schaffhausen. Levente Tregova would like the pinball machine to win recognition. “The darts and the pool table did well.”It’s been three years since he turned to Swiss Olympic. As the founder of the umbrella organization of the Swiss flippers, he would like to have his discipline recognized as a sport in its own right. Swiss Olympic will probably make its decision in the autumn. If it’s positive, it would be a giant leap to flip him in Switzerland.