The Benefits of Playing a Pinball Machine

Playing with a pinball machine may just seem like a fun past time, but did you know that there are a multitude of benefits?

Playing with a pinball machine can actually be crucial in developing or maintaining motor skills. It is widely known that to be good at playing pinball one has to have good hand eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the ability to track the movements of the hands with the eyes, thus enabling the eyes to send important signals to the brain about hand movement. Poor hand-eye coordination can greatly compromise your ability to exercise and can also affect everyday tasks such as writing.

In learning how to play or by playing pinball frequently, hand eye coordination can be increased two fold, as well as developing lighting fast reflexes and incredible timing. Pinball can be quite a mental game, as you think of moves and strategies on the spot.

Hand-eye coordination tends to deteriorate with age. However, regular physical activity that utilises both fine and gross motor skills can help.

Pinball can also help those dealing with grief. As mourners’ movement between different stages of grief such as shock and depression can be unpredictable, this process has been likened to the workings of a pinball machine, according to Mental Health Practice journal.

The authors of the September 2012 journal are in no way trying downplay grief or suggest it is a game, but they are however trying to explain through the metaphor of pinball that the process of grieving is not linear.

With grief, there can be triggers that can prolong or even restart the process – just like on a pinball machine, in which pressing the buttons can prolong the game. Anniversaries or special events can examples of triggers for mourners. Many mourners describe themselves as ‘bouncing’ from stage to stage in the grieving process, which is similar imagery to pinball. Mourners can seek comfort in the fact that their responses are normal and grieving doesn’t have to calculated. Grieving takes time and effort. This model can also be adapted to help those coping with separation, divorce, loss of employment or financial loss, say the authors.

So come by on Seniors Week (April 9-13) and play some good ‘ole vintage pinball for free!

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