Old-School makes a comeback

Clink. Ding. Honk. To some, these are random sounds that may annoy, but to others it means the Michigan Pinball Expo is in town.

Located on campus in the Banquet Rooms of the Oakland Center, the second annual Pinball Expo is presented by family-owned company Environment by Design. The Expo will be held April 14-17 and goes from 8 a.m. to midnight on Thursday-Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The owner of the company and creator of the expo is John Kosmal. He had hoped last year would be a hit and that they would be able to put on a second expo this year. Now that he has accomplished that goal, he now aims to promote the expo as an “event the community would look forward to every year.”

Expected attendance is about 2,500 students — last year clocked in at 1,000 — and if all goes accordingly, the Expo will possibly expand to the whole Oakland Center next year.

Kosmal said he wants to expose the student body to pinball and appreciate the games. A fan and collector, he said playing pinball is a fun way to relieve stress and a great hobby since the game stays “fresh” with a cutting edge every time.

Today, he is still an avid fan for the machine and other games. He can often be found hooking up a new machine in the Bumpers Game Room, which is planning to receive new machines in the near future.

The idea for the expo was first generated by Kosmal with the thought that the younger or next generation don’t go to arcades anymore. With console games on the rise, not many people go out to spend quarters in machines at local malls or shops anymore.

New to this year’s expo is a flat screen television pinball machine. It may seem like a video game version of pinball, but if last year’s Elvis pinball machine controlled by a Guitar Hero guitar was any indication of what it will be, then the surprise will be worth the wait.

The Expo is offering all sorts of new and different things to the community. The banquet rooms will be lined with 250 machines from the past, present and possibly what the machines will be like in the future.

Like last year, there will be tournaments held every day for novices to professionals offering cash and prizes totalled to over $10,000. Being introduced this year is Pinbrawl X, a team competition. This is the world’s first tournament to feature such rules and it features a grand prize of a brand new, in box pinball machine.

A self-proclaimed avid gamer who is entering her junior year, Yasmin Nguyen said she is excited to visit the Expo on Thursday.

She said she is expecting to try a new format of gaming, one she has experienced once before, resulting in an “epic fail.”

She said she believes pinball games are good for beginners and enjoys seeing this type of old-school gaming has lasted through the years.

Paramount Pictures and Marvel will be hosting a booth on Saturday showing off upcoming projects, as well as posters and T-shirts. They will even giving be out passes to an early screening of the film “Thor.”

During the week, there will be pinball machines in the foyer of the banquet rooms featuring some machines at the Expo to tease the student population to check out the events.

A day pass for a student is $10 while a full, four-day event pass is $25. Those wanting to buy tickets now can go to the CSA office to snatch one up, or listen to WRIF-FM (101.1), who will be giving out free passes to the event.