Since the beginning of the year, I have been looking at pinball in a different way. Literally! I have been playing without wearing my glasses! So I have been seeing the pinball differently, and I actually have a different (somewhat strange) look while I am playing. And strangely it might be changing how I look at playing competitive pinball.
So it all start with my wife deciding she wanted to correct her vision naturally. This is a whole big topic that I won’t go into here, but part of the process was to quit using her corrective lenses (contacts and glasses). And when she stopped using her glasses, I thought I would join in and try it too.
Now my vision isn’t very bad (-1.25 diopters), so I often don’t wear my glasses around the house anyway. But it got me wondering if I could play pinball without my glasses.
So off to the Pacific Pinball Museum I went, and I played an evening of pinball without my glasses. I played well. I even GCd Getaway with 900+ million.
Since then I have continued to play without my glasses, and I haven’t missed them at all. I have no problem following the ball, making shots, or seeing the screen. I might have to lean in to see small text or details on inserts and playfields, but that only happens occasionally and might not even be different with my glasses.
Since I have to drive to wherever I am playing, I still wear my glasses to get to the location. When I take off my glasses, I need a place to put them, but I don’t tend to have a a bag or big pockets. Normally I would hang them on the front collar of my shirt, but they dangle in front of me and annoy me when I play pinball. So instead I hang them on the back collar of my shirt!
So here’s the picture. An Asian guy standing at a machine. Often kicking one leg or the other randomly to the side (especially when I am really in the flow). With a pair of glasses hanging down his back. Kinda strange!
So we have how I see the pinball differently and how I look different. But how does this change competitive pinball for me?
This weekend I played in the SF Beer Week Pinball Throwdown (thanks Shannon Sweetser for organzing). Twenty-nine players vying for $800 of prize money at the wonderful 47 Hills Brewing Co. So yes I played without my glasses. And I played great.
But the interesting thing was that without my glasses I couldn’t see my opponent’s scores from a distance. Since the play area was kind of cramped, when it wasn’t my turn to play I would stand a bit aways to give other players room to play. And this meant the scores on my game weren’t clear enough to see.
Of course when I was playing, I could look at the scores and see where I was compared to other people. But between my turns, since I couldn’t see their scores I just stopped trying to see how they were doing.
It meant that I wasn’t stressing about how they were doing and how my score was holding up. It freed me up to be more social between turns since I physically couldn’t fixate of the scores. And I seemed to stay more in the moment. It was either my turn or not. All I had to do was play my game, not worry about how everyone else was doing.
It is funny that how I see the game might change the way I SEE the game.