I had a real pinball machine growing up that was gigantic and so loud it drove my parents crazy. We had to unplug the thing at night or you could hear it across the street. I don’t have room in my house today for a real pinball machine, and I bet most of you don’t either. You can build your own DIY digital pinball though if you want to follow the directions this dude posted on Instructables.
TBarklay’s digital pinball machine uses a pair of LCDs, a PC, and some emulator software – along with an MDF wood cabinet, some buttons and a plenty of elbow grease. The back glass and playing fields are made from computer displays with a 19-inch LCD for the back glass and a 24-inch widescreen LCD for the tabletop (of course you could go with a larger monitor if you want – 37″ is closer to a normal pinball machine). The whole works runs on a PC – ideally using a dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM or better. To do this yourself, you’ll also need a keyboard encoder and some wiring stuff to get your buttons to work as flippers.
The software that actually makes the digital pinball table is Visual Pinball, and the front-end to make it playable on the table is called HyperPin. The end result is really cool, and you can check out the full build docs over at Instructables.