Headscratchers / Pinball

  • So I see a lot of enthusiasts call pinball machines as "pins." What do they call other things that are predominantly referred to simply as "pins" as well, such as bowling pins, the pins you wear on your shirt, the pointy things you use to attach paper to bulletin boards, electrical pins, the tip of a grenade, or a fastener for a string on a musical instrument?
    • It's all dependent on context. Many players call pinball machines "tables", but no one's ever confused High Speed with something to solve multiplication problems, played pool with one, or served Thanksgiving dinner on one.
  • All right, next question: I often see pinball people talking about a machine being difficult/unforgiving as a positive point. Is there an explanation for this, considering with video games, gamers often get frustrated easily leading to the trope It's Hard, So It Sucks? (There is also It's Easy, So It Sucks, but the point is that there are enough examples of the former for it to exist as a trope.) What is it that makes these difficult/unforgiving pinball machines so appealing while avoiding frustration? As someone who got started with video games and has rode the changing landscape of video gaming into the 2010s, I do get frustrated easily at a pinball machine, and I lose interest if it drains quickly or is too punishing of missed shots. Am I an anomaly?
    • "It's Easy, So it Sucks" refers to games that aren't fun because they don't provide a stimulating challenge. "It's Hard So it Sucks" refers to games which people are quick to give up on or look back on as being boring to lug through. Making Pinball easier is seen as making it the former, similar to Hardcore Games.
    • Also note that, like Video Games, Tabletop Games, or any other form of entertainment, the "right" blend of difficulty and challenge will vary from one player to another. A table that is difficult and overly frustrating for one player might be difficult but just tempting enough for another, and a total pushover for a third. Or ask long-time pinball players why they'll never touch one frustrating table but stick it out with another, and you'll get as many different answers as you want. There's nothing wrong with walking away from one table and gravitating to another you prefer; that diversity of experience is part of the fun.
    • Perhaps part of pinball's staying power (or Cult Classic status at the least) can be owed to being a hobby that evolved in the United States, making competitive pinball play fairly popular there. While Japanese shoot em ups and Rhythm Games are also known for measuring the player's skills, playing them competitively is generally unheard of in the US because Westerners, including Americans, see them as strange foreign entities rather than approachable products.