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By Laura Southers

Have you played one of the new pinball machines inside the Cougar Café’s dining room?

If so, and you enjoyed it as much as countless students, you might thank Casey Sims,  a certified rehabilitation counselor and the Counseling Department chair at CCC. 

Sims brought freeplay pinball machines to campus in late January, rented from Cashbox Amusements.  

He said he intentionally used “a local company” that rents out pinball machines, jukeboxes and video games. 

Typically, Sims explained, “They get money … because people put in quarters.” 

Because Sims rented the machines, thus having provided the profit for the rental company, Sims was able to surpass the need for quarters because the college’s machines are “set on ‘freeplay.” 

“Students can play for free and enjoy it, without having to pay any money,” Sims said.

Sims understood the need for frugal entertainment for students in college.

Avery Bybee played during a break from classes. 

“You can call me Pork Chop,” said Bybee, who’s working on his GED and playing in the college’s music ensemble. He left his slice of pizza and cup of orange juice at a nearby table while he played.

“I enjoyed my time,” Bybee said. “I’ve been playing about 10 years.”

 Sims said he hopes the college could one day buy its own machines. 

If that were to happen, Sims said,  “Students in our electronics and engineering technology program can learn how to maintain and repair them as part of their curriculum. Because working on a pinball machine is pretty similar to some of the things they learn in that program.” 

Having played a game would then contribute to someone’s education and help the Counseling Department’s wellness initiatives. 

Sims is also responsible for the guitar project on the CCC campuses; he has personally paid for dozens of guitars placed in buildings at the Oregon City, Wilsonville and Harmony campuses for students and staff to play. 

Pinball adds to that effort. 

The college’s two machines are “Theatre of Magic” and “Indiana Jones.” 

They were rented for a two-month trial period. This was done “under a wellness initiative to promote and foster a positive environment on campus,” Sims said.  

Sims has started a pinball club of 10-12 students. 

He promised he would help the club write a charter to “apply for official status with the student government.” Those interested in  joining the club can reach out to Sims at

Laura Southers


  1. Judy Sims on March 19, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    College life has branched out in exciting and meaningful ways, thanks to guitar and pinball playing being freely available activities on campus for college students. Thank you, Casey Sims and supportive college administration for being open minded for these innovative and healthy initiatives for college student acitvities!