Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pinball! “Punball: Only One Earth”

Electric Works presents "Punball: Only One Earth," a fully-functional, playable pinball machine by William T. Wiley. More than a year in the making, this machine is the latest release in Electric Works' series of multiples.

They started with a 1964 game by Gottlieb called "North Star," a game celebrating the undersea crossing of the North Pole by the USS Nautilus. In typical cold-war era graphic kitsch, the original machine features Eskimos playing the guitar, miniskirt-wearing accompanists, and their friendly companions the polar bear and walrus.

Taking his cue from the original game, Wiley not only reconfigures the graphics of the game, featuring many of his recurring characters, but delivers a new warning from the polar north: "The Eye-Scabs are Melting." The icecaps are indeed melting and along with them Wiley mixes the threat of global warming with his usual good humored graphic and text combination. The pinball machine is published in an edition of five.

The original 1964 machine was exhibited along with Wiley's new version.

Both machines will be playable for the public during the course of the exhibition and a lot of people were playing with both machines. I tried playing a game or two but was glad that I wasn't playing for money.

Electric Works
130 8th Street
San Francisco, California 94103
vox 415 626 5496 fax 415 626 2396
wheelchair accessible

image from their flickr set: info from their press release