I'll just call up whatever government office it is that issues
those licences, and tell them that the Final Draw shot on WCS isn't
kicking out properly, and that the trough opto's on Indy need to be
cleaned or replaced. I'm sure they'll send someone out right away to
give the operator a stiff fine and a slap on the wrist.
I've never had a serious problem getting pins
repaired--the various Rutgers University arcades where I wasted away much of
my undergraduate career were generally in respectable shape, and as I
happily reported here back in January all it took for the RPI arcade to fix
their machines was a complaint (with specific comments as to what was wrong).
However, I did have a variety of backup plans in place if the pins
did not get fixed in a vaguely reasonable length of time.
Step One: Complain. To every arcade attendant you can. Get friends to
complain. Hopefully they'll fix things just to shut you up.
Step Two: Ask for a refund. You paid for a pinball game; you are
entitled to a game on a machine which is in proper, fully
functional condition. If you receive less than this you are
morally (and quite possibly legally) entitled to satisfaction,
including either a refund or credit toward a suitable game of
Be firm in demanding it (easy for me to say, sitting here at
my computer and looking for interesting pictures with my
WWW browser). You probably are legally justified in demanding
that the games be in full working order. And again, ask
friends to request refunds.
Step Three: Raise hell. Write indignant letters to the editor, take
up a petition at the campus pinball club (you may have to
start the campus pinball club, but that's another post).
If you can get the campus paper to write an editorial
containing a vaguely disapproving comment about the pinball
condition, good. (Remember, student journalists--I speak as
a former student journalist here--like stories that (a) let
one gripe about the administration, and (b) don't require
much work. Walking in with a gripe is probably a good start.)
Write letters to the director of the student center, and
if need be the Dean of Students, the Dean of the College,
the campus provost if you have one, the college Board of
Trustees, the college President...the number of people you
can write is limited only by your indignation and your
word processor's mailing list feature.
Step Four: Start getting nasty. Turn off games that don't work and
keep turning them off. Put up your own warning signs and
tell other people--and ask them to ask the operators to fix
the games. At this point it may not be unreasonable to set
some of the video games on fire.
The point, of course, is to make it less trouble to fix the machines
(and keep them fixed) than in dealing with the deranged, angry pinball
players. So make it easy for them--give them plenty of opportunities to
fix the machines, and always be amenable to reason. But keep it up; if you
go away it's too easy to just let things start to slide. If your commitment
starts to waver, play $2.00 of the worst-maintained machine they have.
And always make it possible to achieve a gracious victory. For
instance, if you're reasonably competent (or know someone who is) at fixing
pins, offer to do it at a reduced rate/free just so somebody does them. (It
may be easier to get this together if there is a pinball club existing on
campus.) You want the machines fixed, not necessarily for the operators to
be wiped off the face of the earth.