Ladies of Pinball
© Copyright 2002
By John L Patton, tiltjlp
For some unknown reason, women who really enjoy pinball are not that common. Or at least that seems to be what everyone has come to believe. Possibly mothers saw pinball as being less than “ladylike”, although a group of half a dozen loud and rowdy teenage boys might discourage most any girl from trying her luck with a pair of flippers. There are always exceptions to every rule, and so SusanInPhilly0123, barely past thirty, still holds a warm spot in her heart for that cold steel orb.
Susan, who is a single parent, said “when I was a girl of 12 or 13, we had a Chinese store down the street from us just across from the police station. They had all kinds of games in there, like Pacman, and Centipede, which was my favorite. Every so often, they would change them around and even put in some pinball machines for a while. Although I can’t remember any of the games, since it’s been a while, I don’t think I’ve ever played a pinball machine I didn’t like. I simply enjoy pinball.”
Susan, who majored in art in high school, hopes to begin a Computer Graphics training course soon, so she can escape a dreary factory job making lighting fixtures. She said that she “loves the Flyers in hockey, and the WWF. I also enjoy watching boxing, and pretty much any rough sports”.
In addition to raising her young daughter, Susan said that she “loves being on my computer for hours and hours. I have all the information I need to make a VP table, but I still have no clue what I’m doing. I think everyone who does make them is truly awesome.”
“I think I have every VP table that has been made. The ones I enjoy the most have lots of loops and great sounds. And I
really enjoy playing Windows 2000 pinball, which has some great sounds in its package.”
The second woman I’d like to introduce you to is Imperical, who is in her early twenties, and posseses the very lyrical first name of Danica. Her first original VP table was Loch ness Monster, which “by today’s standards, and even those of my later creations, it is a lame table. If I ever update Loch ness, I’ll probably do a sequel, since the original was my first table, and it has a lot of nostalgic value to me.” As you can see for the SS of SpongeBob Imperical has provided for this article, her work is colorful and quite distinct. It is also a nice, fun table.
She said that she discovered VP when she became bored with the pin that came with WinME. “I decided to see if there were other PC pins out there. I went to Download.com, ran a search, and found Visual Pinball. I downloaded a bunch of VP tables, and got interested in the forums. The ability to create my own tables fascinated me. Now whenever I get sick of playing what I have, I can create a new one”.
On the family front, Imperical has both a younger brother and sister. “My parents are wonderful people, good parents who are still married. My family’s awesome and I love them. Everyone should be so lucky”.
Pinball began for her when at 16, “we’d started hanging out in this bowling alley/pool hall/bar type place. I spent my teen years in a small town, so that was the only place we could hang. They had a TOM shoved into a corner, along with three or four shooter and driver games. I was never really good at TOM, but I loved playing it anyway”.
“When I was 18, we moved to Warren, Michigan. There was a huge arcade about ten minutes from home, where my friends and I hung out quite a bit. They had an entire room with nothing but pins. I don’t recall them all, but I did play TOM, South Park, and Monster Bash quite a bit during that year we lived in Warren”.
Imperical, who works alone, as well as with other devs, is at work on GamePlan’s Agents 777 with DeaconBlues1, and has plans to collaborate with DB1 on other GamePlan pins. “I did both Loch ness and Spongebob on my own, and did a bit of minor scripting on some of my other tables”.
She said, “tables have to be fun to play, and not overly crowded. I also like them to be pretty. If they aren’t nice graphically, that can be a turn off. Admittedly, though, I do enjoy many tables that are a bit on the plain side. As for why there aren’t more women devs, Imperical “wondered about that, too. I assume that SusanInPhilly is a women, I don’t know if she has done any tables, though.”
“Kinsey does some very nice work, and I helped her a little graphically with one of her tables. I also gave a hand on one of Apoc’s tables. But it’s common knowledge that I can not code to save my life. I really can’t imagine why there aren’t more women involved. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t like VP.”
Although she works a pair of jobs that caused her to reply “UGH” when I asked, she “does hope to be working for a Web Design company that is opening soon. Hopefully by the end of summer, I could be doing that. And while I have tried college a few times, I didn’t care for that very much. I’m now toying with the idea of enrolling in a local technical program, where I’d like to major in both web and graphical design and minor in computer programming”.
Imperical has an inquiring mind, and a thirst for knowledge of all sorts, and is a reader, as well as writing stories. She also is a lover of animals and a keeper of 6 aquariums, both freshwater and brackish. She also shelters parakeets, a cockatiel, a ferret, a dog, and two cats. And with all of this in her life, she still somehow finds time to work on tables. I only wish I had half her energy.
(c) Copyright 2002 By John L Patton, AKA, tiltjlp