Passion for pinball: what skills local players say you need to have to get good at the game

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METAIRIE, La. (WGNO)- Keep your eye on the silver ball. Take aim, relax. It's just pinball, right?

“It is serious, but it`s also really more about fun,” Adrienne Black, competitive pinball player, stated.

Players like some of the members of the Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball help the classic arcade game continue to score cool points.

"There is a playing field with a big steel ball bearing that you manipulate around the playing field with flippers; that you move by pressing buttons on the side," Kim Powell, competitive pinball player and Mystic Krewe member, described. “…You hit things and score points.”

Back in the day you could find pinball machines at arcades, restaurants, and bars. The game only cost a few coins around to play.

Now the machines are hard to find in public, so if you want to compete in Louisiana, you have to go to the Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball's secret lair.

The Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball is a secret society of creative folks who get together and play games, create art, and work on other crafts. Many of the members know how to work a flipper.

“Pinball is kind of you against gravity,” Mike Perry, Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball member, said. “It`s inevitable that the ball is going to drain. It`s going to go down the middle.”

“Pinball is a real life video game, and it`s got all the same types of rules except physics comes into play. “It`s this real world element, and it`s intangible. It makes it infinitely harder,” Wes Ganucheau, Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball member, said. “You can`t memorize it. You can`t be pixel perfect with your jumps and your shots. It`s real life. It`s molecule perfect.”

If you want to really make that little silver ball soar across the playing field and make the lights shine you need focus, and several other skills.

"Hand-eye coordination is key,” Powell said.

"Musicians are generally good at pinball because they have good timing,” Ganucheau, added. “If you have a shot you're hitting over and over again, you can you hear that rhythm.”

Then you will need a little luck.

"There is a component of luck because when you've got this steel ball bouncing around it can go anywhere," Perry said.

Just have fun with the game.

Black says, "Don't lose the ball and the rest will come naturally."

This month the krewe hosted the state pinball championship. 16 of the topped ranked players in the state went head to head. The winner won a chance to compete in Las Vegas at the International Flipper Pinball Association's US National Championship.

For more information on the Mystic Krewe of Silver Ball click here.