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Aussie Arcade is great, lets keep getting it better


robm
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If you don’t want to read everything below, here is the summary:

 

Aussie Arcade is an awesome place, but to make it better remember a few things..

1. Be nice, understand the context of peoples statements

2. Understand there may be an alternate point of view, and respect that

3. Meeting people face to face is a good thing – make the effort

4. This site has been going for more than 2 or 3 years, so if you have only been on for that long or less, remember that there are a lot of members that have been here for much longer and they bring a wealth of experience, and have experienced whining and bitching before.

5. Communicate what you mean as well as you can so its not out of context

6. Enjoy life - there is far more to it than pinball

 

Let me preface this post with an apology for the long winded writing, however I thought it was a reasonable time to post a few thoughts that have been with me for a while – I will try to provide context for most of my statements/opinions. I think that word is one of the key things I would like to emphasise CONTEXT – in my opinion, a lot of comments thrown around lately are things that have been taken out of context, or people not willing to see the other person’s point of view. A few bits might be also repeated from what other posters have said in various threads, oh, and of course this is all my opinion, happy if others have a different point of view!

 

I thought it would be worthwhile to provide some context/history of what Aussie Arcade was about, and why I joined. I joined up in 2008 after purchasing my first pinball machine at a garage sale (1979 Williams Flash, for the grand sum of $40!!!). I didn’t really start posting until a few months later once I got used to the forum a bit, and what sort of banter went on. At the start, I was really just asking questions about spare parts or how to fix things once i got a couple more machines, then over time as I got a bit more confident with diagnosis and thinking about some ideas, I started posting some more, and was able to help others.

 

However, I reckon the best value I have got from this forum did not start until about 12 months later when I started meeting people face to face. One of the other guys in Townsville wanted to organize a local get together. We started at my place, then went to his later in the day – there were only 3 of us – however, it was a chance to start to put faces to names, understand the background of people and have a good time in general. I thought it was worthwhile quoting something that @furballx posted in that thread 7 or 8 years ago

 

“There is no doubt in my mind that forums work better when members have met each other in person. Once you have spoken to someone it becomes much easier to recognise quirks or anomolies in their written posts that might otherwise be mis-interpereted and cause grief. Meets go a long way to helping you get to know other members, and besides, thay are a shitload of fun. I've met some pretty good blokes by tagging along to the odd meet or 15. DO IT, have a meet.

 

While it might have seemed a bit ordinary, only 3 fellas meeting up, this was my first face to face meetup with Mike @Homepin. (I wanted to provide some context to some of the negative stuff around him). Mike travelled 800km or so, with a pinball machine, to meet up with 2 others – and one of the main points I wanted to make about understanding people, establishing relationships etc is that people need to put in effort. To my mind, Mike put in an awesome effort driving all that way. Since then, I’ve helped Mike with some stuff, and back in the day he would sell parts to me at wholesale prices, do extra bits on his orders, simply to help me out. He also made some custom boards at almost zero cost, plus made up some inexpensive DIY LED kits for all forum members, back when LEDs were just starting to be used and were extremely expensive – with his kits, I think it worked out at each LED around 15 or 20c.

 

Fast forward to more recent times, and I don’t know of any other head of a pinball manufacturing company who REGULARLY assists random people on a public forum with all sorts of electronic and/or mechanical repair issues. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Gary Stern, Jersey Jack, and the other smaller guys don’t regularly help any old Joe out on AA, Pinside or other forums. Just wanted to point this out as I know a lot of people think he is a cranky old fart (which he is!! Ha ha) who is just in it for the money and doesn’t care about quality (which he isn’t), whereas he really is a person who is incredibly generous with sharing his time, experience and knowledge. Not trying to put Mike on a pedestal here, but providing context.

 

That aside, I really wanted to emphasise how much better things are when you actually meet people face to face. I also recall travelling down to Brisbane for one of the Mega Meets @stuba place. This was awesome, got to meet a heap of people and really start to get to know a lot of the others who regularly posted. It allowed online banter to be a lot more friendly, and all involved knew each other so context and background was better understood. Since then, I have meet a lot of members in meets/comps in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, plus hosted quite a few of my own – and from these, formed some great friendships – even though there are plenty of things we don’t have in common, and I gaurantee there are many issues we have polarizing views on.

 

Maybe I am living in the past a little, however 5 years plus ago, there seemed to be a lot more tinkering/experimenting/ novel ideas being thrown around and people finding cheaper or more effective ways to repair or replace things – partly out of necessity due to some things being available, I reckon this aspect was really great, sharing ideas, and having a range of people trying to solve a problem. From what I understand about the inception of Aussie Arcade, it was always set up to be a forum for ‘backyarders’. I see now a lot of the focus is on new shiny machines (which I also love), but I would hate to see the original intent of the forum get lost. So I guess my suggestion here is that more people post about ideas they have for repairs, modifications, backyard manufacturing and restorations.

 

Its probably also worth noting that a lot of active members now have been on the forum for less than a few years, so probably don’t know a lot of the stuff that happened 5 or 8 or 10 years ago. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the general topics around some more personal stuff (eg other hobbies, mental health, friends or family passing away) seem to be more frequented by members who have been around the forum longer, whereas a relatively large proportion of the negativity/misunderstanding of context comes from newer members. Maybe its worth newer members getting along to more meets/competitions etc to see that the VERY vast majority of people around here are top fellas and girls.

While I am on a roll with how things used to be, I reckon it’s a symptom of the facebook/SMS thing, but communication can be pretty ordinary – or maybe people have forgotten about common courtesy. I sold a $5k plus machine quite a while ago now, plus wrapped, blanketed (is that a word?), strapped to a pallet, drove 100km round trip to drop to a depot, and gave old mate all the tracking details – not one word of thanks, or I don’t even know if the machine ever arrived? Surely its common courtesy to acknowledge you receive something, especially if it’s worth a few thousand $$$? A bit the same as only liking posts (not that this is a bad thing), however my advice particularly to newer members, is to engage in threads by posting words, not just clicking like.

 

Remember also that this site is AUSSIE arcade – yep, we are different (Kiwi’s are a bit more different ha ha), just like Americans, Chinese, Africans, Russians are all different. If overseas posters understood that better, less things would be taken out of context – eg: posting snippets of what was said here on Pinside definitely takes the context away.

 

There are a few other things I was going to mention, but I might save them for another time. So I will finish up by saying that I think Travis and the other moderators do a FANTASTIC job, that is often thankless – so thanks very much from me!

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Nice on Rob.

 

I definitely agree that meeting people at meets and comps improves rapport and positive vibe. I also agree that contributing in areas where you feel comfortable has positive effects and you'd be surprised about the opportunities that open up as a result.

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If you don’t want to read everything below, here is the summary:

 

Aussie Arcade is an awesome place, but to make it better remember a few things..

1. Be nice, understand the context of peoples statements

2. Understand there may be an alternate point of view, and respect that

3. Meeting people face to face is a good thing – make the effort

4. This site has been going for more than 2 or 3 years, so if you have only been on for that long or less, remember that there are a lot of members that have been here for much longer and they bring a wealth of experience, and have experienced whining and bitching before.

5. Communicate what you mean as well as you can so its not out of context

6. Enjoy life - there is far more to it than pinball

 

Let me preface this post with an apology for the long winded writing, however I thought it was a reasonable time to post a few thoughts that have been with me for a while – I will try to provide context for most of my statements/opinions. I think that word is one of the key things I would like to emphasise CONTEXT – in my opinion, a lot of comments thrown around lately are things that have been taken out of context, or people not willing to see the other person’s point of view. A few bits might be also repeated from what other posters have said in various threads, oh, and of course this is all my opinion, happy if others have a different point of view!

 

I thought it would be worthwhile to provide some context/history of what Aussie Arcade was about, and why I joined. I joined up in 2008 after purchasing my first pinball machine at a garage sale (1979 Williams Flash, for the grand sum of $40!!!). I didn’t really start posting until a few months later once I got used to the forum a bit, and what sort of banter went on. At the start, I was really just asking questions about spare parts or how to fix things once i got a couple more machines, then over time as I got a bit more confident with diagnosis and thinking about some ideas, I started posting some more, and was able to help others.

 

However, I reckon the best value I have got from this forum did not start until about 12 months later when I started meeting people face to face. One of the other guys in Townsville wanted to organize a local get together. We started at my place, then went to his later in the day – there were only 3 of us – however, it was a chance to start to put faces to names, understand the background of people and have a good time in general. I thought it was worthwhile quoting something that @furballx posted in that thread 7 or 8 years ago

 

“There is no doubt in my mind that forums work better when members have met each other in person. Once you have spoken to someone it becomes much easier to recognise quirks or anomolies in their written posts that might otherwise be mis-interpereted and cause grief. Meets go a long way to helping you get to know other members, and besides, thay are a shitload of fun. I've met some pretty good blokes by tagging along to the odd meet or 15. DO IT, have a meet.

 

While it might have seemed a bit ordinary, only 3 fellas meeting up, this was my first face to face meetup with Mike @Homepin. (I wanted to provide some context to some of the negative stuff around him). Mike travelled 800km or so, with a pinball machine, to meet up with 2 others – and one of the main points I wanted to make about understanding people, establishing relationships etc is that people need to put in effort. To my mind, Mike put in an awesome effort driving all that way. Since then, I’ve helped Mike with some stuff, and back in the day he would sell parts to me at wholesale prices, do extra bits on his orders, simply to help me out. He also made some custom boards at almost zero cost, plus made up some inexpensive DIY LED kits for all forum members, back when LEDs were just starting to be used and were extremely expensive – with his kits, I think it worked out at each LED around 15 or 20c.

 

Fast forward to more recent times, and I don’t know of any other head of a pinball manufacturing company who REGULARLY assists random people on a public forum with all sorts of electronic and/or mechanical repair issues. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Gary Stern, Jersey Jack, and the other smaller guys don’t regularly help any old Joe out on AA, Pinside or other forums. Just wanted to point this out as I know a lot of people think he is a cranky old fart (which he is!! Ha ha) who is just in it for the money and doesn’t care about quality (which he isn’t), whereas he really is a person who is incredibly generous with sharing his time, experience and knowledge. Not trying to put Mike on a pedestal here, but providing context.

 

That aside, I really wanted to emphasise how much better things are when you actually meet people face to face. I also recall travelling down to Brisbane for one of the Mega Meets @stuba place. This was awesome, got to meet a heap of people and really start to get to know a lot of the others who regularly posted. It allowed online banter to be a lot more friendly, and all involved knew each other so context and background was better understood. Since then, I have meet a lot of members in meets/comps in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, plus hosted quite a few of my own – and from these, formed some great friendships – even though there are plenty of things we don’t have in common, and I gaurantee there are many issues we have polarizing views on.

 

Maybe I am living in the past a little, however 5 years plus ago, there seemed to be a lot more tinkering/experimenting/ novel ideas being thrown around and people finding cheaper or more effective ways to repair or replace things – partly out of necessity due to some things being available, I reckon this aspect was really great, sharing ideas, and having a range of people trying to solve a problem. From what I understand about the inception of Aussie Arcade, it was always set up to be a forum for ‘backyarders’. I see now a lot of the focus is on new shiny machines (which I also love), but I would hate to see the original intent of the forum get lost. So I guess my suggestion here is that more people post about ideas they have for repairs, modifications, backyard manufacturing and restorations.

 

Its probably also worth noting that a lot of active members now have been on the forum for less than a few years, so probably don’t know a lot of the stuff that happened 5 or 8 or 10 years ago. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of the general topics around some more personal stuff (eg other hobbies, mental health, friends or family passing away) seem to be more frequented by members who have been around the forum longer, whereas a relatively large proportion of the negativity/misunderstanding of context comes from newer members. Maybe its worth newer members getting along to more meets/competitions etc to see that the VERY vast majority of people around here are top fellas and girls.

While I am on a roll with how things used to be, I reckon it’s a symptom of the facebook/SMS thing, but communication can be pretty ordinary – or maybe people have forgotten about common courtesy. I sold a $5k plus machine quite a while ago now, plus wrapped, blanketed (is that a word?), strapped to a pallet, drove 100km round trip to drop to a depot, and gave old mate all the tracking details – not one word of thanks, or I don’t even know if the machine ever arrived? Surely its common courtesy to acknowledge you receive something, especially if it’s worth a few thousand $$$? A bit the same as only liking posts (not that this is a bad thing), however my advice particularly to newer members, is to engage in threads by posting words, not just clicking like.

 

Remember also that this site is AUSSIE arcade – yep, we are different (Kiwi’s are a bit more different ha ha), just like Americans, Chinese, Africans, Russians are all different. If overseas posters understood that better, less things would be taken out of context – eg: posting snippets of what was said here on Pinside definitely takes the context away.

 

There are a few other things I was going to mention, but I might save them for another time. So I will finish up by saying that I think Travis and the other moderators do a FANTASTIC job, that is often thankless – so thanks very much from me!

 

Thanks for the time to put your thoughts down Rob. Hopefully everyone will take the time to read it.

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Thanks for your post @robm. I hope people will read and appreciate what you have written.

 

There has been a few threads here the past couple of weeks that have just gone haywire.

 

I totally agree with your point on making the effort to meet people from the forum. I to have made some really great mates through here and look forward to catching up with them whenever possible (the pinball mafia) they know who I mean....lol.

 

I really do hope people are able to read and express opinions on threads here and everyone is able to accept that it is just someone's point of view. There is no need to take things personally and no need to single people out if you don't agree.

 

I look forward to meeting, putting names to faces and getting to know more people from the AA family as for me this is by far the best part of this community.

 

 

Sent from my SM-G900I using Aussie Arcade mobile app

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Well said @robm. I couldn't agree more with what you have said.

 

There are some truly great people on here, yourself included, who have helped me over the last couple of years with general information, knowledge and also hard to find parts.

I have made good mates here in Bundaberg, because of this forum, and we all play together every Saturday night. Some nights there is more talking and drinking that pinball but that's all part of the fun.

 

Without the great people of this community the Australian pinball scene would be a very different place.

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Great post @robm and timely reminder of what really is important. Personally I think you’ve summed it up perfectly and I’m sure will be a positive way for everyone to take stock and reflect on (something which is good for all of us to do at times). Great advice also to get out there and put a few names to faces.

 

There are so many knowledgeable and talented people on this forum (much more so than I when it comes to pinball). I play for fun and if I get stuck there is always someone willing to chip in with advice. I can’t go a day without checking into AA (the forum haha) it really is great hearing about so many topics, the entertaining stories an humour and seeing the inspiring game rooms of members.

 

Thanks again for your taking the time to post what you have.

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Is that positivity I can feel.

That's awesome.[emoji4]

If it wasn't for the helpful people on this forum I'd still have a crap old non working Empire Strikes Back in the shed. Now I have crap old working and restored ESB and 4 other Hankins.

I was only fairly new on here when I had the idea to build a Hankin Shark from parts, I wasn't shot down in flames for wanting to do something so stupid, I was helped by several people to gather the parts I needed. One picked up a backglass I'd bought on Ebay, packed it and shipped it to me for the shipping costs alone another sent me a whole set of new coils he'd made in exchange for two samples I'd sent him. It's the support you get on here that keeps the ball rolling and the motivation going.

It doesn't take much to post a couple of photos and write a few comments either. That idea you came up with or you found online might just be the information someone else is looking for.

As for meeting people, it can be difficult when you live in a country area but even I try to catch up face to face with people when we're out and about and I doubt I'll ever miss a Pinfest now I've started going.[emoji16]

I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who contributes and helps out here especially @Arcade King Travis for setting the whole show up and all the moderators for keeping it going. I've been Chairman of a vintage machinery club in a past life and can appreciate the stress it adds to life, I couldn't do it again.

Cheers Trev

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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great post!

 

On the topic of haywire threads..... Just a reminder there is a thread tool called - Ignore Thread -

 

you don't have to read, or get involved in something if it's going to piss you and others off and things go from bad to worse, that's not what this community is for. If you want to pick fights, head over to the cesspool of the internet, the youtube comments section.. there's a whole stack of millennials and iGen's ready and waiting for you :)

 

top right of every thread, there is link called thread tools. click, ignore thread, job done.

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Well said Rob - except the Kiwi part LOL! I remember the Furballx post and I remember why but more importantly it was about getting real. And you're so right about social media (including forums) where communication can and is lost. Who would have thought friends for life through AA (not Alcoholics Anonymous - still get a laugh out of that one). Definitely get out there and make the effort to meet people. You cant love everybody in the world but at least give ya fellow AA a gidday and/or a shake of the hand - shite, once ya know them well enough - bear hugs and kisses never go amiss :). I err too much on the social side but wouldn't change it

 

Respect each other and agree to disagree and if you don't like someone and/or their opinions, just move on, (I do 99.9%) of the time - we aren't perfect. Confide in your friends to get stuff off your chest in person & PM and leave it at that.

 

I joined AA in 2006 and made the effort to goto my first meet as a very shy person in 2009(?) (who would have thought?) and then made the effort to goto a meet in Sydney at some car racing place and met Rollerball & Furballx. Years later I'm still in contact with both. Furballx even came to my wedding!! (Idiot payed too much for his accomodation LOL).

 

So meeting up just an awesome thing...so many lifetime friends awaits you!

 

Cheers

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Just come to the arcade section, we never fight. It's always those bloody pinball guys :lol Arcade love for all!

 

Man......I never got into this for profit, or fame like Kanada and his 1000 followers, I just wanted a place for us to talk the hobby in peace..

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Man......I never got into this for profit, or fame like Kanada and his 1000 followers, I just wanted a place for us to talk the hobby in peace..

 

Which the massive majority of us do. Fewer than 15 large personalities are responsible for the massive majority of shit on this forum. I'm far from an old member, only been here 7 years, but it's always the same suspects. Strong personalities, strong opinions and no room for movement. It's why I don't discuss politics and stay out of threads that don't concern me, I don't want to get attacked by the vocal minority, not worth my time.

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Yes Rob, I remember that trek to Townsville with my Getaway (I think?).

 

Rained part of the way so it was lucky I wrapped the machine in plastic.

 

Sadly the other guy, who used to post a lot here, has had some family issues and doesn't post any longer.

 

Glad I made the run, although it was to Townsville LOL.

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