It’s the Charleston City Paper with tales of pinball fandom.
There are two types of people: Those who like pinball and those who haven’t played it yet.
Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of pinball enthusiasts: player/competitors, collectors, and the folks who “run routes” — the ones who place machines in bars and other commercial locations, just like they do pool tables and arcade games. There’s a lot of cross-pollination among those three categories.
They multiply … like Gremlins or something.
“Once you have one,” Gardner laughs, “you can’t stop at one.” That’s how he wound up with the starting inventory for his business. At one point, he’s had over 100 machines.
The elusive pleasure of pinball is also the biggest difference between it and video games.
“With a video game, once you know how to win, you can do that any time you want. But you can’t beat the [pinball] machine. In the end, the machine always wins. You can’t win. You can just get better.”
Fun With Bonus is the home of the semi-coherent, misguided ramblings of professional and amateur pinball players.