austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Love us all, how you never broke your heart

If you can take a tiny bit more talk about pinball I'll reward you with, eventually, the report on Motor City Fur[ry] Con. Or the mysterious goings-on down the street. But to pinball: the hottest new thing this year is Selfie Leagues. They're in no way leagues, despite the name. It's a scheme meant to maximize International Flipper Pinball Association rankings for monthly-or-so matches. The idea is that for the month-or-so ahead of a ``finals'' night, anyone can play any of a designated set of machines, and submit their best scores. Players prove they achieved the scores by taking a selfie with the score in view. The scores are used to seed the ``finals''. And we know people don't cheat because how terrible a person do you have to be to cheat for these stakes?

The first started in Grand Rapids, a side affair to the enormous league at the Pyramid Scheme. We joined, of course; we'll certainly go out to Grand Rapids to play pinball. The playing was ... reasonably fun. We coordinated going with MWS and CST, and a couple of other friends were along also. We also fit in some play time ahead of Real Grand Rapids Pinball League matches.

The submit-your-highest-score thing provided a neat effect. You could play as many times as you like (and submit as many as you like; only your highest submission counts). So there's a general pressure to play your best, without the anxiety that you must play your best right now. And people were happy to share knowledge of rules or strategy. Experienced pinball players always are, mind you. It just feels awkward to ask it in the middle of a regular league night. But if you're there with the whole night sprawled ahead of you and no particular need to do well this time or not, why not ask CST how to get a decent score on Batman? It turns out to be easier than you think, and my best score on the game went from something like thirty million (lifetime to that point) to 150 million.

That happened a lot, actually. In play I put up my personal records ever on Attack From Mars, Batman, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Demolition Man, and The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot (discounting the billion-point shot). This is five of the six qualifying games bunny_hugger would have similarly spectacular results.

So what's there to say against it?

(Watch this space.)

Trivia: Vitagraph's first regularly-scheduled newsreel, the Vitagraph Monthly of Curent Events, released (apparently) the 18th of August, 1911, featured ``a head-on collision between locomotives going 60 miles per hour. The iron steeds of the rail clash and tear into each other like two furious combatants. A sight that surpasses all imagination'', per its advertisement. Source: The American Newsreel 1911 - 1967, Raymond Fielding.

Currently Reading: Justice at Nuremberg, Robert E Conot.

PS: A Leap Day 2016 Mathematics A To Z: X-Intercept, carrying on bravely into the parched desert of mathematics glossaries.

Tags: pinball
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