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Roger Sharpe is a pinball designer, author, marketer, and professionally-ranked player. He is the father of Josh and Zach Sharpe.

Sharpe is credited for "saving" pinball; his demonstration of the game as skill-based overturned New York City's 34-year ban on pinball machines in 1976. He designed games for Stern, Williams and Game Plan, and now does licensing work for pinball companies.



Sharpe in 1976, proving in a New York City courtroom that pinball is a game of skill.

Sharpe is most famous for his work legitimizing pinball by demonstrating that it is a game of skill. In 1976, Sharpe testified before the New York City Council that if he pulled the plunger back just the right amount, the ball would go in a certain lane. To demonstrate, he pulled back the plunger on a machine in the courtroom; the ball went right into the lane he had pointed out previously. The head of the council announced that he had seen enough, and pinball was soon legal. The decision spread throughout the country, and pinball was soon legal everywhere. Sharpe has since remarked that the plunge was by luck.

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