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Welcome to Pinball Intrigue, where I indulge my fascination with the silver ball. Here you will find posts regarding my pinball experiences, pinball machine repairs and mods, a virtual pinball build, and links to other pinball sites.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virtual Pinball - I'm Hooked!

I originally started this blog last year because I knew I wanted to have one for pinball at some point, even if I wasn't ready to post yet. I have so many other hobbies that this blog has taken a back seat.

About a month ago I stumbled across a site called VPForums. It's a hosting site for Visual Pinball, a program that uses PinMAME to simulate real pinball tables, from all eras. PinMAME is a pinball emulator that uses ROMS from the original game to make the simulation authentic. I had played with this program years ago on my PC...there was a novelty to it, it was neat at first, but I lost interest when I started acquiring the real things. My roommate and I own a Scared Stiff, White Water, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Popeye, and Junkyard, so that's where my focus has been. The games are expensive to acquire and repair, but they are a blast to play. There's so many more tables I'd love to own: Tales of the Arabian Nights, Theatre of Magic, Attack From Mars, Medieval Madness, Fish Tales, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Monster Bash - just to name a few! I know I'll never have the money or space to acquire all these machines. In fact, Junkyard was the last machine we picked up over a year and a half ago, and it might be the last.

Not long after I picked up Junkyard, something happened in the Virtual Pinball community. Something wonderful and amazing.

Visual Pinball went open source.

Suddenly there was an explosion of talent, imagination, know-how, drive, and co-operation. Overnight this community grew into a legitimate hobby. People started programming. Others started rebuilding table files. Next thing you know, still others are building cabinets and creating a pinball simulator that is, quite simply, stunning. You have to see it to believe it. Here is a Youtube link to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Pinball emulation

I was immediately hooked. Here was a chance to "own" and play all the tables I never would be able to. I had to have one of these for myself. So I started reading. And reading. And reading some more. There are still things I don't understand. I still have questions. But the building of my very own virtual pinball cabinet has begun!

Next up: the build so far and pictures.

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