Robert Glashüttner at the Vienna is Lit pinball tournament in Austria 2023.

Hello and welcome to The Ball is Wild 🪩, a fine place for pinball culture! This project was founded and is run by me, Robert Glashüttner, from Vienna, Austria. I am a videogame journalist and radio reporter and presenter for over 20 years, working mainly at a public service station called Radio FM4. Sometimes I also write academic essays or give presentations, often times about pinball.

NEW IN! 🪩 The Ball is Wild is running an amazing pinball culture newsletter! Subscribe for free!

Pinball has always been part of gaming culture for me but it wasn’t for my late teenage years that I really played on physical machines for the first time. I remember it was Creature From the Black Lagoon and Attack From Mars that I played in the late 90ies. Before that, it was all video pinball for me, of the likes of Epic Pinball, Pinball Dreams and – of course – the infamous Space Cadet table that came built in with Windows 95 until Windows XP.

In 2004, I did a radio and a web piece about a pinball competition in Vienna and witnessed a tournament for the first time. Then, a few years later, I started diving into the pinball community in full effect. I am not a bad player and I like competing, but most importantly, I enjoy pinball for its unique characteristics: It’s a game of skill with a little bit of luck involved, and you can – and should! – play it with your whole body. You mostly only play with two buttons yet pinball it so complex and it requires such refined skills to really play well. This is what always draws me in to pinball.

In 2014, I started this blog called The Ball is Wild 🪩 where I tried to come up with unconventional stories, interviews and social as well as artistic and academic approaches and also topics that hadn’t been covered within other pinball media. For example, I wrote about pinball in fashion shows, about pinball stances, or the legendary old pinball documentary Welcome to Xenon from the late 70ies. I also like to incorporate video pinball content as this is, I think, something that’s still underrepresented within the pinball community.

In short, The Ball is Wild 🪩 focusses on pinball culture and features unconventional games as well as inspired creators, curators, exhibitors, designers, enthusiasts and their pinball projects.