About the Business
Pinball is the embodimant of the rebellious soul of western culture. The Soviets called us the decadent west. If only they knew the struggle for survival of David Gottlieb, Harry Williams, Raymond Maloney and Sam Stern they might have had more respect for the effort it took to provide a free nation with such wonderful decadence. Page through a pinball book and look at the graphics on the playfields and backglasses and it's like reading a graphic novel (a.k.a. comic) on the history of 20th century America. It's a gift to the world from the guys at Genco, Gottlieb, Bally, Williams and Data East and I'll do my part to preserve and contribute what I can.
After graduating in Electronic Engineering in 1991 I spent a few happy years in the South African weapons industry. The second job I ever had was with Kentron. It was in that time that I bought a handful of old pinball machines from some hooligan engineers and the first thing I did was to build a CPU board for an Eight Ball. After ending up in the airframe simulation department and then leaving Kentron for a smaller outfit, I slowly and regrettably migrated away from my love of gadgets and robotics toward software contracting and ended up in the slavery of the Midrand body shops.
To shake off the curse of IT development I started Escapism Software cc in 1997 as a one man engineering show for the development of electronics and embedded microcontrollers supported by computer software. I also started doing some work for architectural model builders by developing and integrating lighting controllers and sequencers for LED's.
A New Direction
In 2000 I broadened my horisons at an art school where my capabilities were expanded to include 3D modeling and animation. Among other valuable "how-not-to-do-it" life lessons I ended up as a lecturer teaching the basics of 3D animation to undergraduates until mid 2013.
In the process picked up a few skills in the CAD/CAM department that is proving useful in todays CNC manufacturing environment.
I was also starting to service pinball machines as a serious sideline and came to appreciate the effort it took to keep those old mechanical marvels in working order. It was during this time that I saw the need to recreate the great designs from the 70's using modern electronics. Those machines that everyone remembers playing. Those machines that were so popular that the ones still around are completely worn out.
In January 2013 I changed the company name from Escapism Software to Escapism Pinball. I was gearing up to fully commit to the pinball business through quality services, refurbishments, restorations custom machines and factory quality replica machines for the discerning home entertainer.
The Return to Pinball
In April of 2013 I'd finally had enough of the politics of academia and realised I could be more productive doing pinball full time. My clients would not have to wait three months for a service and I could invest more time in the development of my own machines.
To be a machine manufacturer I had to get my electronics sorted. I had to figure out how to manufacture mechanical parts locally. I also had to figure out how to apply artwork to cabinets, playfields and backglasses without the need for large production runs.
Today I'm able to manufacture all my own cabinets, electronics, high quality playfields, old school backglasses and most of the sheet metal hardware.
I can service any make of pinball machine from any era and provide backglass, playfield and plastics replica parts even when the US has no stock.
If you have any questions about Escapism or you just want to drop in, please call or email me to arrange a visit.