Archive for February, 2013

  • Pinball Platform Studies


    I like what Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost do with the Atari VCS in Racing the Beam, and following their lead, consider pinball platform studies. Concurrent to the first decade of videogames, hundreds of thousands of electronic pinball machines were created using a small number of discrete architectures. Pinball platforms like the Bally AS 2518-35 exemplify one such platform (search for Bally Electronic Pinball Games Theory of Operation to find an interesting 1982 technical document that introduces the platform; various websites exist that introduce the platform as well). What is it like? What affordances and constraints can be intuited from its design, and how do they play out in various games? How can the study of pinball platforms contribute to an overall awareness of computer technology, as well as their cultural and social milieu that is part of a recent past now forming the mythical foundation of the Internet age? What can we do with pinball as humanities scholars who also solder and write software?

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