Pinball Globalization

Encountered for the first time at 6:15 a.m. Sunday in the Minneapolis airport: A bilingual pinball machine, Spanish and English. Well, it is Stern’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” so a little Español makes sense. (Coincidently, the original movie was on ABC Saturday night. Talk about your cultural juggernaut.)

Both the machine’s digital readouts — scores, instructions, images — and the soundtrack could be switched from English to Spanish by holding down the right flipper button. One odd little complication: Once you convert to Spanish, you can’t switch back until the game is over. (Why hasn’t this been mentioned on the Senate floor?)

Judging from Stern’s website, the bilingual machines started shipping in 2006. Turns out Stern manufacturers English-French machines for Canada, and you can download other language combinations, as well. For a larger view of the machine’s front panel, con bolas y punctos, click aqui.

Excellent machine, BTW. If you hurry, there may still be some credits left on it.

UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): Bally celebrates its 75th anniversary. Congrats!

Leave a Reply