An English Bloke


(c) Copyright 2002

By John L Patton

AKA, tiltjlp




This time, I will be profiling Nigel, or Green Knight who lives in High Wycombe, England, a mere thirty miles west of London. A town of 35,000 with a blended mix ethnically, Nigel says the area is conservative, or Republican, by American standards.


Nigel is in his mid-40s, married but childless, and a cat lover who says “I’d like to get a cat, they sort of adopt me, like Sooty and Sweep from next door. They’re always trying to sneak into the house, and even wait at the back door for me to come home. Cats may appear to be lazy, but they are very intelligent, affectionate animals.”


A nearly self-taught Network engineer, Nigel said his social life mostly evolves around his church, being a Christadelphian. Nigel’s philosophy of life can be summed up with the signature he uses for his VP forum posts which states “Flying an aeroplane is just like riding a bicycle . . .  only it’s a lot harder to stick playing cards in the spokes.”


Among his educational background is a four year City & Guilds Radio & TV Mechanics course completed in only three years. He also completed advanced related study courses with distinction.


Among his hobbies are anything PC related, watching cricket, which is a game played with balls, bats, and wickets, which like most Americans, I have never seen. Sounds like a cross between baseball and croquet, but somehow I don’t think it is. Nigel also enjoys listening to music, and owns a Studer B62 open reel tape deck.


Although he doesn’t own any pins, due to a lack of space, he’d love a Bally Eight Ball Deluxe or a Black Rose. In fact, Nigel’s first pinball experience was playing Eight Ball Deluxe, and “it blew me away”. Nigel also said that there are few live pins near him. “The nearest AFAIK is at Heston Services on the M4 Motorway, about twenty-five miles away. I discovered Black Rose with it’s cannon there.”


Nigel first found Visual Pinball about a year ago, but since it needed  Windows 98 he had to wait. Finally this past Christmas he upgraded  his computer,and quickly installed VP, and hasn’t looked back since. “VP is one of the very best examples of how the Internet really should be. It has shown what can be achieved when people co-operate and aren’t overly greedy or selfish.”


While he hasn’t made any tables yet, he plans to if “I can get my head around Visual Basic Script”. He prefers tables with playability, and plenty of good progression, citing Lars T Boye’s Doom 2 original table as a good example.


Nigel said that “I can’t seem to get excited about pre-1950 pins, since there isn’t enough to keep me interested. And besides, the ball drains way to easily. Tables after the late ‘90s seem to focus too much on ear shattering loud music. That’s just not needed in pinball.”


Besides Eight Ball Deluxe and Doom 2, some of Nigel’s favorite VP pins are Skateball, Medusa, Embryon, Fireball, Mystic Pinball, Addams Family and Black Rose. “I like most any tables from the ‘60s through the early ‘80s.”


“I especially like originals, and am drawn to the work of Sphere. I’m not in league with him or anything, but he has a rare gift of designing a good, playable pinball table. My favorite of his would be his Emerald Altar, which reminds be of the PC game Heretic, which I loved playing. It’s a shame there are so few pinball manufacturing companies left. He would be assured of a job for life!”


I have an idea that before long, we might be seeing an original made by Nigel, possibly with a British theme of some sort. I do hope that you have enjoyed learning a little about yet another of our globe spanning members. I have profiles planned from every corner of the world, or as close as I can come. While you might not agree with every person I have  interviewed, I think you will concede that our VP family is made up of some very intriguing individuals.


© 2002 By John L Patton, AKA tiltjlp.