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Friday, August 12, 2011

CBS: Portland Gangs Love (Pin)Balls

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Oh look, another major news corporation is fellating Portland! How quaint!

According to CBS, Portland is to pinball what Brooklyn is to wishing it was Portland.

As videogame sales plummet (momentarily), CBS wants all of its elderly viewers to know that all the cool kids (that's you guys) are spending their days getting sauced and playing with their balls.

Pinballs! (I don't feel very good about that joke.)

The video, for those of you whose attention spans can't handle three minutes of moving imagery, interviews local pinball sorcerers (is that right?) on why the game is seeing such a renaissance, and the answer is simple: "There's something that is physically satisfying about hitting a shot in pinball that you don't get from videogames."

Oh, but it wouldn't be CBS without bizarrely ominous warnings designed to frighten the old.

Did you know that Portland has "pinball gangs?" Yeah, that's a thing now. Even though the bearded, bespectacled "gangster" they interview laughs at the concept, the tone used by the CBS anchor is forged from pure alarmist paranoia. He says "pinball gangs" the same way Joe McCarthy would say "undead cosmonaut army."

Then, in a total thematic 180, CBS actually offers some salient information about the decline of the pinball biz. There really is only one real pinball company left. They got that right. Gold star for them.

Finally, the clip ends with the unnamed anchor saying "Pinball gangs in Portland. Who knew?" with only the slightest hint of old man condescension.

On a scale from 1 to The New York Times, I give this journalistic tongue bath a 5. The overall tone was appealing, and the report itself was informative, but I can't in good conscience offer any more points to a story about pinball that completely fails to mention Ground Kontrol.

That's like writing a blog post about a CBS story on pinball and not making childish references to male genitalia. It's just not done.

Propers to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo for alerting me to this.

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