The Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show is an annual pinball and arcade game festival held in the Seattle Metro regions of Washington State. The show draws between 2,500-3,000 collectors and fans each June. The festival began as a small annual event held by Washington pinball collectors, but in 2008 became a full-fledged regional convention featuring hundreds of pinball machines, arcade games, electro-mechanical games, speakers, vendors and tournaments.
The 6th annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show drew 3,000 visitors to it's new location at the Tacoma Convention Center June 7–9, 2013. The new venue was quite larger and could accommodate more games, more vendors, more exhibits and more people. Pinball designer and artist Python Anghelo came to the show for the first time and hosted an engaging fireside chat, moderated by pinball historian and collector Gary Flower, as well as doing a seminar later on "The Future of Pinball." Angelo's game credits include arcade games Joust and Sinistar, as well as dozens of pinball machines including Pinbot, Taxi, Cyclone, Bad Cats, Fish Tales, Bride of Pinbot, Police Force, High Speed and Comet. Kevin Kulek and Aaron Klumpp of Skit B Pinball brought out their new Predator pinball machine to talk about it, both it and their one of a kind Duck Hunt pinball machine were available to play throughout the weekend on the show floor. Gerry Stellenberg, owner of Multimorphic, spoke about the new P3 Pinball and P-ROC. Pinball artist Kevin O'Connor designed the 2013 show poster and spoke about his experience in the industry, O'Connor's game credits include Monster Bash, Kiss, Creature From The Black Lagoon and many more. Jersey Jack Pinball's Butch Peel did a seminar on the "Making The Wizard Of Oz Pinball" and brought a finished WOZ for everyone to play during the show. Longtime local game operator Bill Masterman spoke about operating games on location and arcade high score sensations Todd Rogers and Steve Wiebe, star of "The King Of Kong" movie, also spoke. The was a premiere for the movie "The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time" with a Q&A with director Jeff Von Ward and locals Aaron Davis and Barry Shilmover gave a talk on "Turning Your Pinball Design Ideas Into A Real Machine!" and their new pinball company Skillshot. Gary Stern, owner & president of Stern Pinball gave a great seminar and drew the winning raffle ticket at the end in which someone took home a new X-Men Pro pinball game. For the first year NW Pinball and Arcade Show trophies were presented and the show awarded a number of scholarships to local college students going into game design related fields.
The 5th annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show drew 3,000 visitors to the Seattle Center June 8–10, 2012. The show featured "Jersey Jack" Guarnieri speaking about the making The Wizard Of Oz Pinball, as well as the first public peak at a prototype of the game. Gary Stern of Stern Pinball talked about his history in the pinball industry. UK pinball author Gary Flower talked about his history with pinball. Rich Lint from This Old Game did a talk about replacing the artwork on arcade and pinball machines. Pinball designer Steve Ritchie (AC/DC, Spider-Man, Terminator 2, Black Knight, High Speed, Star Trek: The Next Generation) talked about his experience in pinball design. Pinball artist Doug Watson (Attack From Mars, Indiana Jones, The Shadow, Terminator 2, F-14, Black Knight 2000) spoke about his experiences as a pinball artist. John Popadiuk (Circus Voltaire, World Cup Soccer '94, Tales Of The Arabian Nights, Theatre Of Magic) spoke about his history with pinball design. Eugene Jarvis, video game and pinball designer and programmer (Robotron: 2084, Defender, Firepower, Narc, Smash TV, Gorgar, Cruis'n) gave a talk about his experience and history in the industry. Rick Bartlett, owner Planetary Pinball talked about new pinball parts. Lindsey Rupertus spoke on the basics of solid state pinball repair methodology. Twin Galaxies was on hand to judge world record high score attempts and presented their Trading Card Expo. There were also panel discussions on game collecting and repair seminars. The NW Pinball and Arcade Show Pinball Tournament drew top players from around the world and the Seattle Pinball Museum put on a series for more casual, fun and family oriented pinball tournaments throughout the weekend. One lucky winner per day won a pinball or arcade game, prizes this year included a Wizard of Oz, Centipede, Galaga and Terminator 2 pinball machine. There is a great recap of the 2012 show with photos on Pinball News.
The 4th annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show took place at the Seattle Center June 3–5, 2011, it drew nearly 3,000 visitors. Guest speakers included pinball artwork designer John Youssi (The Addams Family, Funhouse, Twilight Zone, Medieval Madness), Steve Wiebe from the movie The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Walter Day (founder of Twin Galaxies, the International Video Game Hall of Fame and star of the movie Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade), and pinball designer John Popadiuk (Cirqus Voltaire, Star Wars Episode I, Theatre of Magic, Tales Of The Arabian Nights, World Cup Soccer). Special guests included pinball and arcade designer Steve Ritchie (Firepower, Black Knight, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Star Trek: The Next Generation, World Poker Tour, Spider-Man), ex-NBA player Todd MacCulloch and arcade and pinball sound designer David Thiel (Q*bert, The Three Stooges, Family Guy, Pirates of the Caribbean). 3 world record high scores were set at the 2011 show and the grand prize given away to one lucky attendee was a brand new Tron pinball machine!
The Northwest Pinball Championships tournament drew top pinball competitors from around the world, the winners were:
Eric Dubofsky won the Novice Finals
Linda Nasfell won the Women's Finals
Francesco LaRocca won the Classics Finals
Keith Elwin won the Open Finals
The 3rd annual Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show took place at the Seattle Center June 11-13, 2010 and featured 260 pinball and arcade games. It drew close to 3000 attendees. Guest speakers included Steve Wiebe from the movie The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, pinball and arcade designer George Gomez (Satan's Hollow, Tron, Spy Hunter, Johnny Mnemonic, Monster Bash, Revenge From Mars, The Lord of the Rings, Batman), arcade and pinball sound designer David Thiel (Q*bert, The Three Stooges, Family Guy, Pirates of the Caribbean), and pinball designer John Trudeau (Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot, Judge Dredd, Black Rose, The Flintstones, Congo). Show featured IFPA (International Flipper Pinball Association) sanctioned "Northwest Pinball Championships," drawing top pinball competitors from around the world.
The 2nd annual show at the Seattle Center was held June 12-14, 2009 drew 2200 attendees. The show was expanded with the addition of a second room filled with classic arcade video games, and the combined total of arcade and pinball machines reached 250. Guest speakers included game designer Dennis Nordman (Scared Stiff, White Water, Demolition Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, Wheel of Fortune), game artist and sound creator Greg Freres (Medieval Madness, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Revenge from Mars, Scared Stiff), music and sound designer Brian Schmidt, star of the documentary movie High Score, Bill Carlton, and Clay Harrell from This Old Pinball. Steve Wiebe returned, but instead of speaking, he made his 6th public attempt to reclaim the world high score on Donkey Kong. David Nelson from Twin Galaxies was on hand to referee Wiebe's high score attempt and watch many other world record high score attempts, as was Mark Alpiger from ClassicArcadeGaming.com. Walter Day hosted a press conference to present the International Video Game Hall of Fame's inaugural ceremony with 12 world record high score holders.
The show’s first year at the Seattle Center was held June 6-8, 2008, featured 125 games, and drew 1200 attendees. Steve Wiebe from the movie The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters spoke about his experience competing against Billy Mitchell for the world high score on Donkey Kong, which was documented in the movie. Wiebe also demonstrated on a Donkey Kong arcade game some of his moves for scoring higher points and how to navigate harder levels. Other guest speakers included pinball and arcade designer Steve Ritchie (Firepower, Black Knight, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Star Trek: The Next Generation, World Poker Tour, Spider-Man, pinball software programmer Greg Dunlap (Monopoly, RollerCoaster Tycoon), electro-mechanical pinball restorer Tim Meighan, and arcade and pinball sound designer David Thiel (Q*bert, The Three Stooges, Family Guy, Pirates of the Caribbean).