I'm not in any way a pinball geek. I know real pinball geeks, and they're in a whole 'nother league.
But I enjoy my pinball very much. When I was a teenager, my dad rented old pinball machines from a local amusements company, swapping out for a different one every year or so. They were all of the analog, low-scoring variety; you did well on Four Million B.C. to crack fifty thousand.
The pinball collection in the game room at UGA's Tate Student Center, where I whiled away many an unproductive afternoon plugging quarters into various machines, was absolutely stellar. Elvira, the Addams Family -- lots of classics. But I favored the inventive, family-friendly Williams games, especially Comet and its sequel (my all-time favorite) Cyclone. Pinbot and Taxi also had their place in that row of machines against the north wall where players would frequently be interrupted by stray ping-pong balls from the tables just to their right.
Noel bought a Wii disc of classic Williams pinball layouts on impulse the other day. It's unimpressive as video gamery, but completely awesome as a recreation of some of those games. The feel of the bumper rattle through your controllers and the heft of the ball floating and zipping around the layout is remarkably realistic. I was put in a reverie as I played, forgetting that it was all bits and bytes and electronic screens. For a moment I was back in the Tate, listening to Gorbachev demand to be picked up and hoping to riiiiide the Ferris wheel.