Life advice, via Are You Afraid of the Dark (index) (random)

Dear Gary,

I have this old mall I don’t know what to do with.  I was considering converting it into a pinball machine.  Do you have any advice for how I can go about this?  Kids these days love video games.

Help please,

Real Estate Tycoon

* * *

Dear Tycoon,

I like the idea of using a mall as a physical space rather than a mere collection of stores—it’s very Romero.  My only real advice is that you include an enormous pinball.  You will have to have this custom-made, but the resulting image should be worth it:

The top of the escalator is a great place for this, as it’s one of the few places in the mall from which the pinball can really gain any real momentum.

Your concept has severe limitations, however, and the rest may be difficult.  Did you know that pinball is not traditionally considered a video game?  You’ll pretty much have to make up a plot from scratch.  Consider including a witch:

And gameplay really isn’t going to translate well.  The players will likely have a lot of trouble maneuvering the giant pinball, and so you might consider equipping them with marbles.  Marbles are like pinballs in that they are both spherical, and maybe the kids can use them to trip up the witch.  This is how Matthew Lawrence kills Debbie Harry in Tales from the Darkside: the Movie.  Have you ever seen Tales from the Darkside: the Movie?  You shouldn’t.

Oh, and don’t forget about money!  Does your mall have a fountain?  This would be a very clever place to collect change, particularly as “quarter slots” are not traditional features within a mall (unless your mall has an arcade, at which point this whole thing will have gotten far too meta for its own good).

In any event, if you can get past the problems inherent to the concept, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble coming up with the necessary capital to make this dream a reality.  Best of luck.



  • 22 October 2012
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