Gameroom Showcase: The Nut House

For those of us who call ourselves collectors, we know how addictive this hobby can be. Sure, as kids and teenagers growing up during the golden age of video games and pinball machines, we couldn’t get enough, but time went on, we grew up, and those experiences and desires turned into distant memories. However, there always comes a point, whether it is through random happenstance, a sudden memory jog, or an encounter through a friend or relative that tells our brains, “Hey, remember those cool old games? Well, you can own one and have it in your house! Yes, YOU! Your VERY OWN GAME!” Many times, once that realization is made, there’s no turning back.

For Todd Carter, that realization came several years ago when his brother’s family purchased a pinball machine for their home. Having not played pinball in over 20 years, Todd was immediately awestruck and set out on a path to acquire his own. When a Data East Secret Service pinball machine popped up locally, and for a good price, he couldn’t resist and became the proud owner of his very first game.

The rush of the silverball would ignite a passion in Todd that would bring over 50 pinball machines and a dozen arcade video games in and out of his home over the years. Currently, his gameroom consists of 13 pins, a 60-1 multicade, a pitch and bat, a shuffle bowler, and a slot machine. And to show that any true gameroom junkie can’t be content with his current lineup, Todd has another 4 project pinball machines in the works.

Todd, however, can’t claim sole credit for this excellent gameroom. Some of us may be jealous of his awesome collection, but many more of us can be jealous of him for another reason. Todd explains,

My wife and I spend more time together then ever playing and restoring especially during the long winter months. DMD’s (are) my wife’s favorite – she has high score on them all! I feel very lucky to have a wife who supports my pin addiction and who is involved in the whole tear down process and restoration.

Like many of us, Todd acknowledges that his favorite aspect of his gameroom is that it has become a popular gathering place for friends and family. Sharing our passion with those we care about only enhances the fun of this hobby. I’m sure the number of people that enjoy his gameroom will only increase once Todd completes his next project – a dance floor! Todd may have named his gameroom “The Nut House,” but there’s nothing crazy about getting together with family and friends, talking, laughing, and playing games. It could be argued that for those of us who call ourselves gameroom junkies, it’s the only way we keep our sanity.

Preston Burt

The co-host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, Preston is a writer and designer living outside Atlanta, GA. He has an affinity for VHS tapes, and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He is a contributing writer for GeekDad, Paste and RETRO Magazines, and a founder of the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo.


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