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Seattle arcade unveils 'touchless' pinball machines

Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A Seattle arcade closed for eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic invented a new feature to bring back customers still concerned about spreading the virus: touchless pinball machines.

Add-a-Ball Amusements in the Fremont neighborhood closed its doors in early March to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, and co-owner Brad Johnsen said employees started discussing possibilities to resume gaming before the business reopened its doors this week.

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"Our genius employee, Alex...AKA Sleepy...came up with the idea of putting pedals on a pinball machine. Using all foot operated controls," Johnsen told KING-TV.

He said employees worked on the idea for two days before revealing a prototype pinball machine modification operated completely by foot pedals.

The business reopened this week at 50 percent capacity, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, and the touchless pinball machines were revealed to the public.

Johnsen said most of the retro arcade machines have been removed from the business temporarily to make room for socially distanced seating. He said Add-a-Ball is now offering drinks and meals in the form of "fine wines" paired with "gas station foods."

The business is also encouraging customers with Nintendo Switches to bring their portable consoles so they can still play video games with friends.

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