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Pinball blamed for murder: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Dec 3, 1963

October 5, 2012

If you’re somewhat old school you might recall soccer moms and our elected officials blaming Mortal Kombat for all the evils of society back in 1992.  If you’re even more old school, you remember when it happened with Death Race and Custer’s Revenge.

What you might not know is this was also true of pinball, but way more so.  Moms, politicians and religious officials were pretty unanimous in their disdain.  And the truth is that anti-pinball sentiments were somewhat justified: early pinballs were gambling games until the addition of the flipper in 1947 to make it more of a skill game.  Even after 1947 there were flipper-less bingo games, which were for gambling.

Fun fact: there are still a few bingos around in the Bay Area if you know where to look.

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