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Hi. Colin here for a special edition of This Week in Pinball.
The TLDR of it is this: TWIP is joining Kineticist. Read on for a personal story and a brief Q&A about what comes next.
Fun fact! The image above (from Big Trouble in Little China - currently #18 in the Hype Index) was part of a mood board I put together when working on the concept for Kineticist in 2022. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of the movie - mostly, I liked the colors and the pure 1980s B-movie cheese of it all. I wanted to capture some of that energy in the site I was building, which was slowly taking shape.
At the time, we were coming off of a month where we did just over 1,000 pageviews, and I was feeling pretty good about where things were headed. Flash forward a year, and Kineticist is coming off of a 30-day stretch where we did over 60,000 pageviews. I’m still feeling pretty good about where things are headed, but I know there are a lot of things to do.
In my presentation for this year’s Pinball Expo, I talked a bit about the inciting incident for my own passion for pinball and how that would eventually lead to Kineticist. Check out the recording for more, but net net, it took me roughly 20 years to fully understand how essential having the space to create things was to my own sense of self and overall well-being.
This epiphany was probably the true inciting incident for Kineticist (separate from my love for pinball), which I only arrived at after hitting some deep life lows that resulted in a lot of introspection, a cavernous chip on my shoulder, and a strong urge to prove I could do something of significance on my own. I needed to build. I needed to create. I needed to get back to telling stories. Kineticist was going to be the vehicle to help me do these things again.
Then, a bunch of wonderful people got behind the idea in all sorts of ways - agreeing to do interviews, providing technical support, encouragement, feedback, contributing content, or even just acknowledging the site’s existence publicly!
One of those early supporters was Will Oetting and This Week in Pinball. He was one of the first in the pinball media community to call attention to the project on his own accord as part of a regular TWIP update this past January. It might seem like a small thing, a brief callout in a pinball newsletter, but it was a big deal to me!
It was an early positive signal that whatever I was doing was starting to work and gave me some important confidence to keep pressing forward.
Several months later, he invited me to board the TWIP train as a contributor, and I haven’t looked back!
This is part of the reason I’m so freaking excited to announce today that TWIP is officially joining Team Kineticist.
Not only is TWIP a big part of my story and that of Kineticist, too, but it’s a big part of the story of modern pinball and its resurgence in recent years. TWIP was at the center of the pinball creator and media landscape when I was getting deeper into the hobby around 2017, and it is part of how I learned about the depth and vibrancy that the larger pinball community had to offer.
I see TWIP as complementary to what we’re doing at Kineticist, and as such, my goal with this move is to do my best to preserve both the legacy and spirit of TWIP while helping it evolve alongside the changing pinball and media landscape.
Of course, this is where I put on my old marketing agency hat and caveat a declarative statement - everything is subject to change!
What that ultimately means is that you may notice some changes in the coming weeks and months. I have a lot of ideas for what the combined entity of Kineticist and TWIP could look like. As of now, my intent is to continue delivering regular TWIP-style news updates with a focus on the larger pinball media and creator community, alongside regular Kineticist content like game tutorials, community interviews, reveals, and more.
The changes that are on my immediate radar are smaller in scope - namely, reevaluating TWIP's underlying tech stack, re-organizing some of the existing content for better visibility, and maybe some tweaks to the TWIP brand to more closely align it with Kineticist.
With all that said, I hope that if you’ve been along for the ride so far, you’ll stay with us for this new direction. If you’re new here - join us for a bit! I promise, if nothing else, the journey will be scenic and fun.
Join us through email via the subscription form above, or find us on your favorite social media platform.
Now for a brief Q&A for things that may be top of mind:
Is This Week in Pinball done?
Nope! Currently, we plan to continue delivering regular updates as TWIP readers are accustomed to. This Week in Pinball is just moving under the Kineticist umbrella, so to speak.
Where’s Will going?
Nowhere! I’ve asked Will to stick around as a contributor and advisor to Kineticist. I value his opinion and experience in the pinball community, so I expect we’ll continue to work together on various projects and initiatives. Speaking of…
What about the TWIPYs?
The TWIPY Awards are also not going anywhere! This is where it gets a little complex, so bear with me a moment. Will is continuing to lead the TWIPY effort alongside a steering committee that includes many prominent voices in the pinball community, myself included. Kineticist, as well as TWIP, will continue to support the TWIPYs however we can. Think of it as a dotted line between the two projects.
Seriously, what about the TWIPY Awards?
Stay tuned for some coming announcements on this year’s TWIPYs, but Will and the rest of the TWIPY Committee already have some fun things planned for the annual celebration of the pinball hobby at the Texas Pinball Festival in March 2024.
I’m a current subscriber or supporter, what can I expect?
We’re a small team at Kineticist, so most things will be status quo as we wrap our heads around this change and solidify our plans to move forward.
If you’re with us on Patreon, we still plan to deliver on any perks you may be owed now or in the future - like TWIP swag and such. If you believe you are missing something, please reach out, and I’ll look into it.
If you’re an email subscriber, we still plan to deliver regular pinball content to you.
I have questions/comments/concerns. How can I discuss them with you?
Send me an email! I love having conversations with other people in the pinball community and would be happy to address your question/comment/concern as best I can. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This sounds cool, and I’d like to contribute or collaborate!
Hell yeah. Send me an email with an idea or what you’re interested in doing. Again, my email is email@example.com.
This sounds cool, and I’d like to talk business!
Hell yeah again. We’re currently a bootstrapped effort, so we are open to getting creative with like-minded businesses and individuals who are interested in reaching an audience of passionate pinball enthusiasts. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll set up some time to chat.
When is this all going down?
Now. Today. It has gone down!
Meme of the Week
TWIP Mood Music
Odds & Evens
- We still have a very limited number of Anna Neal-designed Belles & Chimes tees on the Kineticist shop, and all proceeds go back to Belles & Chimes Worldwide (Kineticist)
- Wormhole Pinball interviews Houston Arcade Expo Founder Keith Christensen (YouTube)
- Cary Hardy has a message for pinball manufacturers everywhere (YouTube)
- Haggis Pinball says they are on track to start production of Centaur Revisited in December (Knapp Arcade)
- Rob from The Electric Playground and Davey from Stumblor debuted their new streaming show, In Before the Lock, all about toppers and mods (YouTube)
- LoserKid Pinball Podcast interviews Jersey Jack's Jack Guarnieri (YouTube)