Player profile (2020 December)

Recently, the Space City Pinball League posted a call for player profiles. Rather than submit this through the original Google Form, I am posting my player profile here for several reasons, the least of which is to maintain full editorial control, including answering questions not originally presented and making minor edits to the questions to more accurately reflect my current status. There are questions I would have liked to answer that weren’t included that I have added.

Player Name and “Enter Your Initials” name: Shawn K. Quinn, SKQ / SKQUASHED

Did you volunteer in [SCPL]? If so, tell us more. I did not volunteer in the league during my time as an SCPL player, but will be organizing pinball events under the auspices of a separate organization in early 2021.

What SCPL events did you regularly attend? Your favorite? I most frequently played in the weekly league at Eighteen Twenty Lounge.

What do you do / have you done for a living? I currently work as a merchandiser/field representative. Pre-pandemic I was trying to get an entertainment business off the ground and was doing face painting at parties and events. In the past I have worked as a courier/messenger, Internet service provider sysadmin/tech support, and web design/marketing/PR consultant.

Where are you from? Born in Houston, Texas, and a lifelong resident in the greater Houston area with approximately three years outside of Houston city limits.

How did you get into pinball? Growing up, the local convenience store had a Firepower, with other games at what passed for arcades at the time. I was more of a video game player until seventh grade when mom realized it was both more cost-effective and better for my mental health to put a couple of extra dollars in my lunch money and have me spend the time after school at the bowling alley across the street playing pinball than going to an after-school program at a day care. That bowling alley had a Secret Service (with a replay stuck at 400k!), Road Kings, and High Speed. (also see:
What was the first arcade pinball game Shawn played?)

Do you have any games at home? No playable machines at present.

What are your 5 favorite games? Ghostbusters (new code), Black Hole, Guardians of the Galaxy, Whirlwind, Twilight Zone, in no particular order.

What’s your favorite competitive pinball memory? It would probably be my second-place finish in the one-off tournament I played in seventh grade.

Do you have any other hobbies? Pre-pandemic, I did a lot of volunteering, primarily for arts-related organizations (Bayou City Arts Festival; Woodlands Waterway Art Festival; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; FotoFest) and a few others (most notably I am part of the Extra Life Houston Guild). I have also contributed to OpenStreetMap (lots) and Wikipedia (occasionally).

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the biggest challenge you see to the future of competitive pinball? Fixing the reputation issue of pinball. I’ve talked to too many people who still see pinball as a game played by either criminals (gangsters, mobsters) or the outcasts of society. My personal observations have revealed there’s more truth to that than I would like.