The Vastergotlands Museum in the medieval Swedish town of Skara is currently home to an exhibit called Tilt about the technological development, the cultural influences, and the Swedish history of pinball machines.
The exhibition started as a smaller art exhibit in a gallery in Gothenburg in 2018. That exhibit included about 25 backglasses and translites, some side art, a couple of playfields, and three pinball machines. That exhibition was a success and the Skara Museum approached organisers Claes Johansson and Mats Holmqvist about doing a larger exhibit that would be at the Museum for six months. They agreed that it was a good idea, and put together this much larger exhibit that opened in March of 2019 and will run through to September 8th, 2019.
The exhibit is held in the back of this imposing building in the center of Skara
The exhibit is held in a large room at the Museum with six playable pinball machines, a few dozen backglasses and translites, side art, playfields, enlargements of newspaper clippings about pinball, and various other related items.
20+ backglasses and translites were on display throughout the exhibit
The exhibit is quite informative about a wide range of aspects of pinball, and covers the basics of, for example, the advancements in score technology from light-up scoring through reels to DMDs and modern LCD screens.
Side art, playfields and many other aspects of pinball were explained and displayed
The history of pinball was on display from its earliest origins through to today
Organiser Claes Johansson plays a credit on the plexiglassed Air Aces with a coinbox filled with old, period-appropriate, Swedish coins. – an example of the attention to detail that runs throughout the exhibit
For me, some of the most interesting artifacts were the old Swedish newspaper clippings from the late 1970s and early ’80s about the horrors of pinball machines in general and arcades in particular. The same groups who were campaigning against pinball machines would later move on to campaigning to protect children from heavy-metal music, violent movies, and so forth. Even though they forgot about pinball when its popularity waned in the mid-’80s, some of the