Pittsburgh Hosts International Pinball Competition

See how you can join the fun and help preserve pinball culture

Pittsburgh is known for its many bridges, Steelers football team and sandwiches piled high with coleslaw and French fries. What you may not know is that the city has also become a global center for pinball culture. See for yourself this weekend at The Replay Foundation Expo, where one of the largest pinball tournaments in the world will take place - right here in the Steel city.

Check out a video from last year's festival:

(Source: Replay FX Facebook page )

Pinburgh, previously known as the PAPA and World Pinball Championships, will host 1,000 players from around the world who will compete in various formats on 300 machines over three days. Anyone can attend the tournament, however the process to get in as a competitor is very, well, competitive (slots to participate in Pinburgh sold out online in five seconds!).

While players come from all over the world to compete, some of the best sliver ball slingers are actually from Pittsburgh -- including Cryss Stephens, who is currently ranked #14 in the IFPA World Pinball Player Rankings.

One of the tournament's organizers, Elizabeth Cromwell, encourages the public to attend the event even if they aren't super skilled at the game. There will be plenty of open machines available to play, and you might even pick up some tips from the pros. The Expo will also feature tons of other video games, a dedicated tabletop gaming area, live performances and face painters.

Attendees take part in interactive gaming sessions at last year's Expo.

Along with putting on the annual tournaments, Replay FX is dedicated to the preservation of the game with over 1,000 machines in their possession, some of which are over 80 years old. While the games require generous upkeep to keep them in pristine condition, the best way to preserve them is to actually use them.

"We think the best way to preserve something is to keep playing it," Cromwell explains to Very Local Pittsburgh . "We're like a living museum in that way."

The event takes place August 1-4, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find more information and purchase tickets for the Expo here .

You can help with pinball preservation efforts by donating to the Replay Foundation online .

(Source: images Replay FX Facebook page )

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