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Why Is Pinball So Great and Special? – 16 Real Benefits & Advantages

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Pinball is a timeless form of entertainment, originating in board games from centuries past and perfected in the twentieth century into a fun-filled extravaganza of flashing lights, thumper bumpers, slingshots, chaotically moving balls, noises, and dopamine hits. However, it may surprise you that it comes with considerable benefits.

Pinball is a mentally stimulating game that builds quick thinking and hand-eye coordination skills. It can be played by players from tiny kids who will gain development benefits from playing to seniors who will find it slows age-related decline. It offers a chance to gain math and physics knowledge.

The above is just a sample of the benefits of playing pinball, and there are many other benefits and advantages to playing pinball. Join us as we explore the surprising upsides to what may initially seem like simply a waste of time or money or, at best, a temporary distraction from the more essential issues of real life. You will be encouraged to find that pinball is so much more!

1. Pinball Is Mentally Stimulating

With the variety of sensory input, from the flashing lights to the array of noises that a pinball machine makes, and the narration that takes you through the storyline of a specific game, pinball offers a lot of mental stimulation. It can help stimulate young minds to develop and slow cognitive decline in seniors (who will probably enjoy the nostalgia factor into the bargain).

2. Pinball Rewards You For Paying Attention

Pinball is anything but random when correctly played. The rules for each game lead you through a detailed scenario with a basic storyline and various elements on the playfield lighting up to indicate to you what to shoot for. As a result, pinball rewards you with a lovely rush of dopamine and a feeling of accomplishment when you work out what to do next and achieve it.

3. Pinball Offers Social Interaction

Although you can play pinball in your own bubble, and there are various digital simulations of the game that will let you do just that, you’ll generally play the real thing in an arcade with other people around you. Sometimes, you’ll be playing in competition with other players. This social aspect helps develop interpersonal skills such as turn-taking and tolerance for frustration.

4. Pinball Improves Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination, which is essential for sports and tasks such as writing, needs to be developed when young and tends to decline as people age. However, playing pinball can help you improve your hand-eye coordination no matter your age. 

Your ability to track your hand movements by eye will improve. You will also find your reflexes speeding up to react to the crazily careening ball.

5. Pinball Is A Safe Game To Play

Pinball offers an opportunity to develop interpersonal and motor skills while being a very safe game to play. There are none of the injury risks associated with games such as football, and whatever stance you adopt to play, you are unlikely to develop posture problems as you might with computer games.

6. Pinball Can Be Played In Any Weather

Whether it’s ninety in the shade and the sweat is rolling off you, or it’s thirty below freezing, and you can’t feel your extremities, you can always retreat to the comfort of your local arcade or even your basement and play pinball. Try doing that with a game of soccer!

7. Pinball Teaches You Patience

Pinball is excellent for teaching patience in two ways. If you are playing with other people, you’ll have to wait your turn, which helps to build patience. But even if you are actively playing with the machine, learning to slow things down and play patiently and carefully will result in the machine rewarding you with higher scores.

Patience is an excellent skill to have and one that is all too often lacking these days.

8. Pinball Teaches Understanding Of Physics

If you are playing pinball on a real pinball machine, the way the ball moves around the machine is due to the application of real physics. Learning what input will result in a particular effect or how to manipulate the machine to achieve the desired shot helps build an intuitive understanding of the physics principles involved. An aspect of physics that you will gain from playing pinball is a good understanding of vectors.

9. Pinball Can Build Self Confidence

If you take the time to learn the rules of a particular machine and the angles, you can achieve absurdly high scores. This ability to master new skills and get rewarded for them in a fun way can help build self-confidence in people, no matter what their age.

10. Pinball Builds Motor Skills

Learning how to react to the ball’s motion and press only the correct flipper for the shot or how to finesse flipper control to trap the ball can help build gross and fine motor skills. Such exercise is excellent for youngsters who are still developing or older people who may be experiencing a decline. And if you’re somewhere in between, pinball helps your motor skills stay fine-tuned.

11. Pinball Can Be Used For Trust Building Games

You can play pinball in various ways. For example, you can team up so that two people play, one to each flipper, and have to coordinate their moves. Or you can have one person blindfolded and working the controls while someone else acts as their eyes. Games like these make for great trust-building exercises.

12. Pinball Can Help You To De-Stress

Pinball can be initially stressful as you feel overwhelmed by the sensory input and the skills required to manipulate the ball. However, as you gain skill, you will find yourself playing in the zone without thinking about the world outside the game and any problems you may be facing. Pinball helps you to de-stress.

13. Pinball Is Suitable For Most Ages

As we have already established, pinball has various benefits for youngsters and the elderly. It can also be played by any age in between. As a result, pinball is something you can turn to throughout your life, and it offers opportunities for different generations to bond with each other over a shared activity. In other words, pinball makes a great family game.

14. Pinball Has Mental Health Benefits

The de-stressing aspect of pinball can help people suffering from trauma-related conditions such as PTSD. Military veterans have commented that playing pinball has helped them overcome their trauma, and it has also helped people overcome grief following various traumatic life events.

15. Pinball Improves Children’s Development Skills

Because it is a ton of fun, the developmental benefits of pinball don’t seem like intentional therapy or homework to youngsters. As a result, children’s hospitals and autism remedial centers have used pinball machines as a welcome distraction for their kids, which also benefits them while they are playing it.

16. Pinball Can Teach Kids Math Skills

Suppose a game of pinball takes a quarter. Then you get four games for a dollar. Or suppose it costs forty cents. Then you get two games for a dollar, plus twenty cents change. It may seem trivial, but the fun aspect of pinball helps kids master essential math skills like these without feeling like they’re doing homework.

All Things Considered

Pinball comes with many benefits and advantages, from fostering interpersonal skills and developing patience to developing hand-eye coordination and rewarding attention. It is a safe game that can be played by almost any age in any weather and has particular benefits for children and the elderly. So, play pinball and have a blast while gaining valuable skills!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.