A rundown of some spots where players can refine their game
The reasons to want to pass the time playing pinball are manifold. It can be competitive, if you want. Or it can be purely a social exercise. In either case, it's a visceral experience in the real world, with gameplay that exists amid the vagaries of gravity, air and how level the floor is … while always providing enough flashing lights, alert sounds, successes and failures to keep those endorphins popping.
According to John Geiger, International Flipper Pinball Association State Representative for Ohio and one of the co-founders of Arcade Super Awesome, the number of people playing in leagues and in tournaments is growing.
Participation has doubled in the two-plus years since Arcade Super Awesome opened above Yellow Brick Pizza in Olde Towne East, and Geiger estimated about a quarter of the participants are active in one of the other pinball league around town, including at Level One Bar & Arcade on the North Side.
Even if you don't want to play in a league, but just enjoy a game or two of pinball while you're having a drink, there are plenty of places around the city to play the silver ball. Here's a sampling. (For a more comprehensive list, check out pinballmap.com/columbus.)
Arcade Super Awesome
892 Oak St., Olde Towne East
Level One Bar + Arcade
130 Hutchinson Ave., North Side
PINS Mechanical Company
141 N. Fourth St., Downtown
PINS Mechanical Company, Dublin
6558 Riverside Dr., Dublin
96 Gender Rd., Canal Winchester
Four String Brewing Company
985 W. Sixth Ave., Grandview
16-Bit Bar + Arcade
254 S. Fourth St., Downtown