FRISCO, TX -- The organizers of the Texas Pinball Festival report that enthusiastic participants have established a new record for the largest number of simultaneous flipper game players. The epochal event took place on March 28, when 272 players were recorded in action on a battery of pinball machines. At exactly 5 p.m., the flipper fanatics stood at their machines and on the count of three started a three-ball game.
The rapid-fire play action was captured by half a dozen digital cameras, including video equipment at floor and ceiling level. It was coordinated by six officials who kept track of play. The rules called for each participant to play a single three-ball game and then step back from the machine.
Ed VanderVeen, one of the event's organizers, observed that extensive logistical planning and administrative oversight was required to set up, execute and record the astonishing feat with sufficient precision to meet the certifying body's rigorous criteria. The Guinness organization has detailed rules that must be followed in order to provide sufficient documentation for official certification of a new record. The process took about six weeks, he explained.
"We cleared out the room for the event," said VanderVeen. "Each player had a ticket. And we used a wide variety of machines, from electromechanical to the new Stern Mustang."
The previous record certified by Guinness for Most People Playing Pinball Simultaneously was set last year in Canada, when 100 machines and players launched their bold bid during the internationally renowned Stratford Festival in Toronto. That pinball celebration was organized in honor of the Stratford theater's revival of the rock opera Tommy, in which flipper-game dexterity is a dominant theme.
The Texas Pinball Festival was held March 28-30, drawing some 5,000 flipper aficionados to the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel and Conference Center. Festival organizers proudly reported that the fête "turned the venue into a 40,000-sq.ft. gameroom." The 2015 flipper fest takes March 27-29 at the same venue. Visit texaspinball.com.
photo | OVER THE TOP: Above, the human wave of Texas Pinball Festival participants assembled for mass assault on the Guinness World Record for Most People Playing Pinball Simultaneously. Once a game was finished (below), participants stepped away from their games and raised their hands, according to the carefully documented objective. Prior pinball simultaneous play record was set in Canada in 2013.