The first generation of Pinball Machines used mechanical triggers to turn on and off the games. These triggers, often called solenoids, were not particularly complicated. These components are typically hidden under or covered by the playfield’s other components. When you power the coil, it causes a metal object called a plunger to move. The plunger is connected mechanically to a feature on the playfield. This action produces a visual target and allows the player to earn points.
Unlike modern video games, pinballs have jackpot targets. These can be simple ramps or complex sequences of targets. In the 1980s, jackpots were the main goal, ranging from one to four million. In addition, jackpots would accumulate between games, making the task of scoring them a tedious and complicated one. Today, many pinball games dilute the significance of jackpots by allowing players to collect multiple jackpots in the multiball mode. This makes the jackpots much less meaningful.
The early days of pinball machines were fraught with violence. Organized crime was rampant in the 1940s, and many big criminal names controlled the pinball industry. The police raided public places where pinball machines were present, and in one famous incident, New York City’s Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia joined cops in smashing them. This changed the game forever. But not everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
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