INDUSTRY: Space-Age Pinball

In the make-believe world of the penny arcade, pinball was once a game without peer. For a teen-ager with a pocketful of dimes, there was no better way to while away idle hours than maneuvering a steel ball through a maze of obstacles, while lights blinked and a noisy digital Scoreboard recorded points with a distinctive bong. But pinball, alas, lost some of its cachet in high-speed modern life—until 18 months ago when there appeared a new breed of coin-operated games that use sophisticated electronic technology to simulate everything from playing table tennis to driving a race car. Besides...

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