Tilted Dreams

Jack Danger and His Passion for Pinball

Krista Stryker
11 min readMar 5, 2024
Illustration by Mihajlo Stojanovic

“There’s just something about controlling this little tiny ball going everywhere. Once you learn how to actually control a pinball, you feel like a freaking magician.” — Jack Danger

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The phone rings. Jack Danger, busy at his Chicago animation studio, picks it up.

Brad Stark doesn’t miss a beat. “Jack, you’re never going to believe what I just discovered in Portland. There’s this thing called pinball.”

Stark goes on and on about the classic arcade game. But Danger isn’t interested. He hangs up the phone and forgets all about it until a week later, when Stark comes up to him at the studio.

“Hey dude, you got a lot of space here. I just bought a Lord of the Rings pinball machine and I don’t have anywhere to put it. Can I leave it here at the studio?”

Skeptically, Danger agrees to house the machine and they bring it up on a freight elevator. He tries playing a few times but doesn’t get what all the hype is about. It sits, mostly…



Krista Stryker

Performance coach, writer, and athlete. I write about how you can experience personal transformation through movement and exercise. www.kristastryker.com