Here’s one way to describe pinball (from Wikipedia):
Pinball is a type of arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball table (or “pinball machine”). The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible.
And here’s another:
What’s fascinating about playing pinball is that it shows how well humans and machines can work together to achieve something. The machine provides bumpers and ramps and tunnels for the ball to interact with. The player activates the machine and provides subtle movements only a human could express, forcing the ball to interact with the machine in completely new ways.
When there is perfect harmony between the machine and player the reward system kicks in. The pinball machine is not fighting the player. And the player is not fighting the machine.
The relationship is mutualistic. It is harmony.
There’s a clear difference between the two. One sounds transactional. While the other was clearly written by a fanatic (me).
The question is, who are you engaging with? People who give their attention away fleetingly? Or the people who are obsessive fanatics?
When we make new products, we have two choices:
- Make something that doesn’t offend anyone in the hopes of pleasing everyone.
- Have an opinion, take a stance, and make something that has meaning for a specific group of people, embracing the fact that people will be divided.