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Fountain Square business is a safe haven for retro gamers

What started as a few friends meeting up to play pinball has turned into a haven for retro gamers.

INDIANAPOLIS — Pinball is alive and well in Fountain Square at PinVault, a haven for retro gamers that's been around about five years.

"The feedback is instantaneous on this, and you just don't have that from video games," said co-owner John Rangel.

PinVault is one of Fountain Square's best kept secrets on the second floor of the G.C. Murphy building.

"It kind of started as just a group of us friends playing pinball not really having a space to do so," Rangel said. "Then one of our partners got a lead on this space up here."

It's turned into a pinball player's paradise.

"A lot of people have them in their homes, so this was the first time it had a 'clubby' feel," Rangel said. "We have a league that we do. It's a lot of the same faces that come through for that. Until you put something out like that, it's like where are all these people and then you do it and they all just appear."

Co-owner Aaron Silvers said one of the joys of pinball is that it's always the same game, but brings something new each time.

"It's got the same play field, the same rule set and everything stays the same but each time you play, it's different because the ball falls a different way," Silvers said. "You hit it a different way. Maybe you're trying to hit different shots to get a different score."

There's something about it that will never get old. 

"For me, it's a good stress relief. It's like the catharsis of it," Rangel said. "You have two little bats and you're actually physically hitting a ball. It's hand-eye coordination, it's relaxing to me."

PinVault is only open a few weekends a month but does host tournaments and is available to rent. For more information, click here.

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