Kaihan Mansoori, 19, who has autism, is known for “intellectually dissecting” the game as he practices at the Pinball Museum in the Chinatown International District.
The Ghostbusters pro-model pinball machine does not know this player has autism.
“It treats everybody the same,” says Charlie Martin, co-owner of the Pinball Museum in the Chinatown International District.
Like most new machines, it’s a full-blown, powerful computer.
The manufacturer, Stern Pinball, says “it’s easy to play but difficult to master.”
The player, 19-year-old Kaihan Mansoori, keeps building his score, catching the steel ball on a flipper and directing it to his chosen target.
When the game is over, the machine declares him the Grand Champion topping all other previous scores.
Martin says, “it’s magic the way he uses his ability, with a special ability to dissect, intellectually dissect the game to maximize the score. It’s not about ball bashing, it’s about ball control.”
Mansoori is also champ on the Batman, Metallica, Tron and The Hobbit pinball machines.
“I focus on the game itself,” he says, with great hand-eye coordination.
“Follow the shot, capture the ball” and he never gets bored with a machine.
“I just play for fun.”
There are 54 machines at the Pinball Museum, from a 1960 Gottlieb Texan where the top score is 1,999 points to the new Hobbit where the score could be in the millions.
The first time Mansoori played, “I was five or six at a Beaverton (Oregon) bowling alley.”
“I just got skill from watching pros play,” says Mansoori, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, and comes up to play about twice a month.
His next planned challenge is Bellevue College, working toward a degree.
His mom, Jan, says, “Kaihan loves aviation and maybe can become an air traffic controller.”
His dream is to get to work for Boeing.
His name is a Persian word meaning “the world.”
Anything is possible in the world.