Lyons Classic Pinball and Video Arcades
The Coloradian has a great article online today about the classic gaming dynasty of Kevin and Carol Carroll. The husband and wife entrepreneurs own and manage two classic game rooms, one is Lyons Classic Pinball, the other is Lyons Classic Video located in the Oskar Blues Pub in Lyons, Colorado just outside of Denver. If you're planning a trip out to the Rockies, make sure and put these hot spots on you travel itinerary! [link]Lyons Classic Video at Oskar Blues Grill and Brewery 303 Main St., Lyons. 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Kids are welcome until 9 p.m. when it goes to 21 and older. Information: http://www.oskarblues.com/Lyons Classic Pinball 339 A Main St., Lyons. Open 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Information: http://www.lyonspinball.com/
Salem pinball wizard ranked No. 3 in the world
SALEM, Mass. — He trains only a few hours a week, wears regular street clothes and doesn’t have to dodge the kind of intense media glare you’d expect to trail a world champion.In fact, not a single autograph-seeker approached his table while he picked at a basket of fries at Salem Willows on a recent Friday afternoon.But Bowen Kerins, 31, has been featured on SportsCenter, earned a front-page photo in the Life section of USA Today and won tens of thousands of dollars — all for playing pinball.Yes, pinball.The flashy game of flippers, bumpers and metal balls that has long been a staple of arcades across the country has drawn the Salem resident and former Swampscott High School math teacher to places like New York City and Pittsburgh to compete in world competitions.And before you dismiss pinball as a mindless game for teenagers with quarters to burn, consider this: Kerins has won more than $40,000 in cash and prizes over the course of his pinball-flipping career.He first conquered the pinball world at age 18 as a freshman at Stanford University. He flew out to New York City one weekend, competed against 700 others and was crowned the world champion of pinball by the Pro-Am Pinball Association. Along with the title, he took home $4,000 and a brand-new pinball machine. “For an 18-year-old in college, that’s a much bigger prize than it would be today,” Kerins said. “That kept me from having to get side jobs for quite a while.”Armed with the equivalent of 16,000 quarters, Kerins continued honing the tools of his arcade trade.But with championship glory came lofty expectations. When Kerins failed to repeat as champion the following year, a reporter from Spin magazine covering the event noted that the defending champion had finished “an uninspiring eighth place.”“I like to go around saying Spin magazine called my performance ‘uninspiring,’” Kerins joked.Reclaiming the crownBut last year — more than a decade after his first title — Kerins reclaimed the world championship in Pittsburgh. The prize: a towering trophy and $10,000 cash. “That was pretty cool,” he said.SportsCenter replayed the victory, ESPN 2 filmed a 15-minute segment on the tournament, and Kerins was featured on CNN and even interviewed by a Japanese radio station.If it seems difficult to believe that a national TV audience could find coverage of pinball interesting, you clearly haven’t been watching enough television.ESPN has televised the national Scrabble championship, the championship round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the Alka-Seltzer U.S. Open of Competitive Eating. The World Series of Darts aired on ESPN for the first time this summer — during prime time. Last year, the World Series of Poker drew a television audience of more than 1.1 million viewers. And one of the featured flicks at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival was “Wordplay,” a documentary about crossword puzzles.So how competitive is pinball? “When you see these poker tournaments, people are insulting each other or cussing at each other,” Kerins said. “None of that ever happens in pinball.“But a lot of these guys take on a persona,” he said. “One guy calls himself ‘The Storm.’ ... I’ll kind of jump around or yell at the game a little bit, but that’s all to take my mind off the fact that I’m competing.”Millions of pointsThese days, Kerins is ranked No. 3 in the World Pinball Player rankings, which claims to be the first international ranking system of pinball players. At one point, he held the high scores on every pinball machine at the Salem Willows Arcade, but the staff regularly resets the top tallies and wiped out his game, he said.On a recent afternoon at the Willows, Kerins managed to rack up about 28 million points in five minutes on The Simpsons pinball machine. But his all-time highest score is 1.7 billion points — a feat that took about two hours of concentration.Playing pinball isn’t the only skill that has put him in front of a television audience. In 2000, he won $32,000 as a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”He admits he may have had an advantage during the show’s Fastest Finger round. “I give some credit to pinball for helping me push the buttons,” Kerins said. Chris Cassidy writes for The Salem (Mass.) News.X X X HOW TO WINPinball advice from a two-time world champion1. Figure out the functions on the playfield. Some targets will earn you big points. Some will award you a free ball. Learn which are which.2. Develop your aim. “A brand-new player will just flip the ball,” Kerins said. “You don’t have to flip immediately. You can wait and time your flips so you can aim a little to the left or a little to the right.”3. Learn how to stop the ball. By holding the flipper upright, you can trap the ball. Or by extending the flipper straight out, you can let the ball come to rest, then aim your next shot. “Catching gives you a lot of control and gives you time to think about what you should shoot for.”
Pentagon using video games for training
American Forces Press Service reported on Sept. 22 that the NATO working group was attempting to determine how better to develop improved interoperability and standards among NATO partners to utilize special video games to train troops before they deploy.
The Advanced Distributed Learning is a project of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative director Robert Wisher, host of the exercise, said, "One thing we know about games is that they're very motivating for learners. We are looking at what can actually transfer from the games to an actual military operation."
According to the ADL Web site the goal of the ADL initiative is allow NATO personnel to have access to the best quality learning and performance video games, which can be tailored to personal abilities and needs and delivered via the Internet anywhere in the world.
During NATO's ADL "Battlefield 2" simulation, NATO members were operating in an urban war simulation in a desert nation.
NATO ADL participant Polish army Maj. Jaroslaw Bartkowski said, "The games are a good teaching tool. It's very interesting to play them. In the cyber age, a lot of people play with them, but we can use them in a positive way for teaching."
Sega, New Edge Sign Broadband Arcade Deal
We were pinball wizards!
Game was an outlet for youngsters who experienced the "trauma" of the 1950sPosted Online 26 September 2006Growing up as a young boy in the 1950’s was a traumatic experience.There were those polio shots every year in school and the Russians were going to “nuke” us so we had to drill crawling under our desks.
And to top that off was the pressure of your parents warning you if you didn’t get better grades, you were going to flunk and spend another year in school.What was a young fifth grader to do?Well many of us found “green pastures of relaxation” in the form of a machine. A machine that stood on four legs and, for a dime, gave you five silver balls and a lot of action. It was called “Pinball.”In the 1950’s there were three main Meccas for pinball action in our big town. One was the Candy Kitchen — better known as the Palace of Sweets — on Clark Street. Another was the Forest Lanes Bowling Alley, which was located across the street from today’s Forest City Foods.And if you were older, Goldy’s Mobil, north of today’s VIP Lounge on Highway 69, was the place to be. (Unfortunately, that was off limits for me because that was where the older “Gearheads” hung out. They were the guys with the white t-shirts with the cigarette packs rolled up on their shoulders. They drove the cars with furry dice hanging from the rearview mirror and with spinner hubcaps.)Pinball players had different styles of play. When they fired the ball into play, some players would pull the pin all the way back and release. Others would pull it back to a specific spot while others slammed it with the palm of their hand.Once the ball was in play and the action started, some players stood like a frozen statue with only their fingertips and eyeballs moving. Then there were others where every muscle from head to foot twisted and turned — almost working up a YMCA-like sweat.Whatever the style, the goal was always the same: Rack up the points to win a free game.Pinball teaches its players many things like how to come up with eye and finger coordination, how to lose gracefully and how to win humbly when you beat an older player on a two-man machine. But what happened to Elliott and myself on a fall afternoon in the late 1950’s taught us much more.Both of us worked on Thursdays at my uncle’s Don Food Market located where Flora Lynne’s is today. One Thursday we got finished at 5:30 and decided to do a little pinball at the Bowling Alley.Upon arrival we found a new machine installed that was a four-player model.So we put in four dimes and went to work. Our skills weren’t very good as we were on the last ball of the last game and weren’t even close to winning a free game.But then we noticed that the first three players score had ended with an “8.” As we ended the fourth and final game, that score also happened to end with an “8.” Now everyone knows pinball machines at the end of play will post a random number 0-9 on the board. If the last number of your final score matches — you win one free game.And then it happened. The machine flashed an “8” match. We figured four free games, right? The machine’s loud distinct wood banging sound was music to our ears as our free game numbers were posted in the lower right corner.First it was one, two, three, four games. All right, we thought! Then what was this? The numbers kept adding up — seven, nine, 14, 17, 19 — and our eyes got even bigger. At an unbelievable 21 free games, it stopped!We had hit the Pinball Lottery!!The machine had made such a noise that the owner, Mr. Bess, came running over thinking we tilted the machine on purpose with a stuck ball to get the free games. But when he saw our pathetic scores, he knew it was a grand slam number match that he had never seen!But we were in trouble — big, big trouple.We had hit the jackpot in pinball, but the clock said it was ten to six and both our parents expected us to be home at six when the auditorium whistle blew.Here we were in “pinball heaven” with 21 free games and good times ahead of us. And time had run out! We left the alley with 18 free games on the machine for someone else to enjoy — complements of us.But reflecting back on that afternoon in the late 1950s, I now realize we not only had a pinball experience but we also had a “life experience.”On that day, two young boys found out what it was like to win big yet at the same time not to be able to take advantage of the rewards.It is a predicament that is repeated many times in life when people win the lottery, get a big job promotion or get ready to enjoy a well deserved retirement only to find out like we did — the time is ten to six.Riley Lewis is a Forest City resident who writes a monthly installment looking back on the heritage of his hometown.
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Do Violent Video Games Make You Kill People?
There must be some sort of link or the gaming companies wouldn’t bother to put an age restriction on video games.
I remember the violent video games of my time…”Mortal Combat” was considered gory and bloodthirsty. But in comparison with today’s video game 15 years later, “Mortal Combat” was more like a bedtime story!
But on the other hand, scientists have proven that the brainwave activity of a child playing “Need for Speed” is the same as an athlete training for a marathon! So there must be some good to playing!
"These two studies, plus other research on video game violence all point in the same direction," researcher Craig A. Anderson, PhD, from Iowa State University, says. "It's a direction that's not unexpected, because the effects of playing violent video games look to be very similar to the effects of lots of exposure to violent TV. Basically, kids who play a lot of violent video games are at risk for becoming more violent people."
Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum:
Everyone here at RetroBlast is a big fan of Marvin Yagoda's famous "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum," an amazing collection of vintage coin-op oddities located up in Farmington Hills, MI. Marvin's got a fantastic and eclectic collection of strange games, and his site even hosts the invaluable Online Pinball Repair Guides that I've personally used several times to troubleshoot my pinball machines.
Well, now Marvin's museum has inspired rockers Tally Hall, whose debut album is entitled, appropriately enough, "Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum."
(That's Marvin flying in from the top!)
Marvin Yagoda even has a spoken intro on track 3, "Welcome to Tally Hall." Listening to the CD, and especially track 3, convinced me that these guys are true fans of vintage coin-op. Their geek cred was confirmed, however, when I took a look at their web site's biography page, and saw their LEGO-portraits.
Marvin sent me a copy of the CD recently, and I've got to admit that I've really enjoyed it — it's as varied and quirky as his museum, a broad smattering of musical styles and unlike anything I've heard in a long time.
Nathan Jones Update, The Rock Speaks On Video Games
Story posted by Tim Brown on September 21, 2006
Remember Nathan Jones? For anyone wondering what's up with him lately, he's been getting praise in the media for his fighting roles in the new action movies The Protector and Fearless.
Reuters is running a short interview with The Rock in which he spoke on playing video games as a kid and promoted his new video game. Here's an excerpt from the article:"Atari was the coolest thing but before that I used to live in arcades. Every kid would hang out in arcades. There was this game called Dragon's Lair which was just amazing and I remember being 11 or 12 and being obsessed with that game. It just opened you up especially if you were a kid like me with this vivid imagination. I got reality and fantasy blurred often when I was a kid."As you probably know The Rock is starring in the new "Spyhunter: Nowhere to Run" game just released this month.
Not all video games are for couch potatoes
The researchers studied the metabolic and physiologic responses of 21 boys, ages 7-10, as they played the action video game "Tekken 3" for 15 minutes. As the boys punched and kicked their way through the game's mock martial arts battles, their heart rates went up, on average, by 19 percent; their systolic blood pressure rose by a similar amount; and their breathing rates increased by 55 percent.
The levels of glucose and lactate in their blood didn't change as they would during real physical activity. Nonetheless, the researchers estimated from the boys' breathing and oxygen consumption that the energy they expended in playing the video game was roughly equivalent to what they'd use in walking at a 2 mph pace. They reported their results in the April 2006 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Surveys have found that American children are playing video games up to 40 minutes a day, which still pales when compared with the average time they spend watching television (2.8-3.6 hours daily).
Some new "exergaming" options are designed to get players up and moving. "Dance Dance Revolution" scores gamers on their dancing abilities as they move to match onscreen steps choreographed to music. This fall, Nintendo is scheduled to release a system called the Nintendo Wii that will feature game controllers with built-in gyroscopes and motion detectors. Instead of just moving their thumbs, gamers will have to get up and move to play.
Military and terrorist video games
It's just another click click, bang bang in a line of gun-totin' games intended to spur interest and even recruitment for militants in the Middle East. (See Hezbollah Central Internet Bureau's "Special Force" or the pro-Palestinian "Under Siege.") According to a viral ad for "Night of Bush Capturing," the game is intended for "terrorist children."
"You're never going to get 100 percent turnover or transformation or enlistment from these endeavors, but I don't think the creators solely saw it as that," says Joshua S. Fouts, executive director of University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy. "They probably saw it as yet another way to engage people in a venue that is popular."
Four years ago, so did the U.S. Army, who created the game "America's Army" in order to recruit and educate gamers about the military. The free first-person shooter offers both single-player and online battle modes. And it was updated last week with new content.
asap downloaded both "America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)" and "Night of Bush Capturing" to see how they matched up.
"America's Army": Gamers can get "America's Army" from Army recruiters or by downloading it from various video gaming sites like Gameworld Network or 3D Gamers. The 2.5 gigabyte-sized game is often included with computer systems from Dell and other hardware manufacturers like video card maker NVIDIA.
"Night of Bush Capturing": This one is a little tougher to find. The 28 megabyte shooter has primarily been distributed on Islamist Web sites. But since news of the game hit the English-speaking world, bloggers have uploaded "Night of Bush Capturing" to file-sharing services such as RapidShare and MegaShare.
"America's Army": Col. Casey Wardynski told The Associated Press the Army spends about $2.5 million annually on the free PC game, developed by the MOVES Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School. All versions of the game have utilized the Unreal engine.
"Night of Bush Capturing": The video game says it was produced by the Global Islamic Media Front, which is described by the Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute as "a jihadist mouthpiece organization." It appears to be a modded version of the game "Quest for Saddam" from Petrilla Entertainment.
"America's Army": The game originally featured nameless combatants. But in the most recent update, the digital likenesses of eight real soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been added to a "virtual recruitment station." They can't virtually fight or die, though. And there's no Osama bin Laden to hunt -- the targets are anonymous bad guys.
"Night of Bush Capturing": The shooter controlled by the player of this game isn't supposed to be anyone in particular. But as for the targets: It's all about Bush. The soldiers in six levels of the game resemble President Bush, while a seventh mission requires players to kill President Bush. Posters of Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other leaders cover walls throughout the game.
"America's Army": Players can train and fire a variety of weaponry from an M-246 machine gun to an M-203 grenade launcher to an M-82 semiautomatic rifle. There are also smoke grenades, and fragmentation and vehicle-mounted armaments.
"Night of Bush Capturing": The weaponry in "Night of Bush Capturing" is a little less advanced. Players begin armed solely with a generic assault rifle. Throughout the game, other weapons such as shotguns, grenade launchers and machine guns are available.
"America's Army": The locales in "America's Army" are completely generic. You won't find any mention of virtually traveling to Iraq, Afghanistan or North Korea to do battle. Missions take place in such locales as "insurgent camp," "river basin," "border," "water treatment facility" and "farm."
"Night of Bush Capturing": Same goes for this game. In the first mission, the player begins in what appears to be a U.S. military camp. Subsequent missions take place in desert settings with mission names such as "American's Hell," "Jihad Beginning," "A Day at the Desert
History of SEGA
Utilizing its now mostly re-named "AM" development studios, Sega develops games for all consoles, handhelds and PC.
Sega of America is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Corporation, responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas.
Sega Corporation is a major player in interactive digital entertainment media, offering interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home.
The Corporation has also merged with Sammy in 2004, giving that other massive Japanese corporation a large amount of control over the merged business. One of the perks of the merger is that Sammy intends to absorb Sega's outstanding debts while continuing to push classic franchises.