Airsoft Canada
eHobby Asia

Go Back   Airsoft Canada > General > General
Home Forums Register Gallery FAQ Calendar
Retailers Community News/Info International Retailers IRC Today's Posts

Positive News Article about Airsoft

:

General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 9th, 2007, 23:39   #1
hellmutt
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA
Positive News Article about Airsoft

Better than real: Popular new war game

Simulation gives gamers the look and feel of military

MICHAEL COLELLO
of the Gateway

About a dozen young men advance slowly down a muddy forest trail. Clad in military greens and brandishing what appear to be assault rifles, the move purposely, eyes alert. Suddenly, two cars lumber into a clearing ahead. An ambush is sprung and a shootout ensues. Afterward, captured weapons and prisoners are collected alongside the vehicles.

Despite the appearances to the contrary, this isn't the latest skirmish in the War on Terror, nor a mob hit. Most of these combatants are neither in the military nor are they criminals.

Rather, these are players of Airsoft, a combat simulation game in which players use pellet-firing replicas that are virtually indistinguishable from real military firearms.

Conceived in Japan in the 1980s, the sport has grown in popularity in recent years and spawned a subculture of gamers across the U.S.

Held last Sunday, the above mentioned skirmish drew more then 25 participants, mostly teenage boys, from across the Puget Sound to a Key Peninsula property. The game was hosted by Battlesim (www.battlesim.com), a Tacoma-based company specializing in period military simulations complete with tactical instruction from real U.S. Army veterans.

"It's about looking, acting and being like real soldiers," said owner Jason Daniel. "The shooting part is secondary."

A former Microsoft employee, Daniel, 35 founded Battlesim in 2004 as an outgrowth of his online wargaming. The company now specializes in historically based games, which last up to three days apiece and involve dozens of players.

Game organizers strive for realism and players are encouraged to use period weapons and uniforms. Said gear can be sold or rented at the company's Tacoma storefront.

Dubbed "Red Army Faction", last Sunday's dame was based on the Germ Cold War-era terrorist group of the same name. Participants, many clad in German and American military uniforms, were equipped with replica M-16 and Kalashnikov rifles.

The day started with an hour's training on things like squad movement, prisoner taking and how best to clear a car of suspected gunman.

Classes were led by Daniel and Josh Warren, a 24-year-old U.S. Army Ranger. The two were dressed in suits, with phony CIA badges clipped to their lapels -- costume for the day's game.

A veteran of five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Warren later said that the tactics he shares with participants are "dumbed down" versions of the skills he and his comrades had to master. However, he said the training makes for more realistic, enjoyable games.

"It's just a taste," he said while slogging up a mud road, black Airsoft rifle in hand.

Sunday's game included several "missions", as players manned vehicle checkpoints, set ambushed and practiced capturing and extracting intelligence from enemy players -- and shot thousands of plastic pellets at each other.

Airsoft replicas are virtually identical to real firearms in appearance and, to a lesser extent, in weight. Spring, gas or electric operated, the guns fire 6 or 8 mm plastic BBs and are capable of either semi or fully automatic fire.

High-end guns cost several hundred dollars and can be upgraded with accessories from real assault weapons, such as grips, magazine holders, and tactical lights. The guns, however, cannot be converted into real firearms.

The game is similar to paintball, which uses gas-powered guns that shoot ink-filled gelatin balls. However, most paintball players eschew the military aesthetic of Airsoft for bright futuristic looking uniforms and faster, sportier play typically associated with paintball.

"It's easier to sell to parents," one Airsoft gamer said of paintball's non-military approach. "There's no (military) simulation involved".

Last Sunday's game took place at the "Paintball and Airsoft" center on Lackey Road. Owner Bob Campbell, 57, has opened his 15-acre property to paintball enthusiasts for years. He also rents paintball guns, ammunition and equipment. He said his field is seeing more and more Airsoft battles recently, averaging as many as three a month. "It's growing," he said. Airsoft and paintball gamers utilized different parts of Campbell's property during last Sunday's game.

So, what's the attraction? Most players said they like the action and realism of the games as a safe and more exciting alternative to the real thing.

Port Orchard resident Aaron Cullor said he's been playing Airsoft for roughly two years. A Navy man in real life, Cullor said he appreciates the games emphasis on equipment and the honor system that regulates gameplay. Despite the outward appearances, he said Airsoft "is nothing like the real military."

Another player, Tacoma resident Matt McNeu, 17, said he appreciates the training provided at Battlesim events. Playing the role of Mercenary, McNeu carried a customized M-16. He said he had long intended to join the Army after high school, but was now having second thoughts.

Seattle resident, Marshall Smith, 17, said he has been playing for about two years now. Dressed in green battle gear and equipped with a brand new Airsoft rifle, a Christmas gift, he said he loves military simulation but has no intention of joining real armed forces.

"There is a way for me to do all this fun stuff and not get shot," he said.

Daniel said a big part of the game's appeal is allowing players with an interest in firearms and military history to simulate military action, without the very real danger and drudgery.

Daniel said Battlesim focuses on World War II and Vietnam War simulations, eschewing current conflicts such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several of the gamers said they appreciate the policy. So does Warren.

"It's weird to come home and see video games of a war I fought in, and one that's not over yet," he said.

Currently enrolled in the ROTC program at Seattle University, Warren said he plans to return to the Army. In the meantime, teaching Battlesim classes allows him to apply the skills he learned in the service to the civilian market.

An ex-theatrical production hand, Warren said he enjoys teaching the players. "It's funs," he said.

Daniel said most airsoft players are male in the late teens to early 30s, mostly from middle and upper middle class backgrounds. Some gamers are interested in joining the military, and others have served, although perhaps not in combat. Most also play computer games and are interested in history, firearms or both. The overwhelming majority of Airsoft players are members of private clubs, Daniel said.

In addition to organizing events, the company also sells period uniforms, weapons and other equipment out of its Tacoma storefront. A weekend game costs about $20. Larger events can run from about $60 to $100 per player.

An upcoming World War II-themed event, "The Long Winter" will feature period uniforms, field artillery and restored armored cars.

"It's all about the props," Daniel said. "Complete immersion is what we are going for."

The realism of Airsoft weapons, and the potential for police shootings, has caused jurisdictions across the country to crack down. Federal law prohibits the importing of Airsoft guns without bright orange tips, which many gamers later remove or black out.

Some jurisdictions are banning their use or display in public. Daniel said he expects the game to be banned from public lands in the near future.

In the meantime, Warren and Daniel say they'll continue presenting games as realistically as possible -- but with a sense of humor. Jokes and laughter peppered much of the day's game.

"We try not to take it too seriously," Warren said.

Watching the players planning their next attack, Campbell, a former Green Beret himself, admitted the game reminds him of his time in the service. Time, he said, that was among the most important in his life.

"But this is nothing like the military," he said. "Here, everyone gets to go home."

Reach reporter Michael Colello at 853-9240 or by email at michael.colello (at) gateline.com.
hellmutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 09:42   #2
Greylocks
 
Greylocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gatineau, Quebec (Near Ottawa)
America has far different views about guns, and things that look like guns, than the rest of the world.
Greylocks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 12:37   #3
Rukus
 
Rukus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Work Point, BC
Too bad they haven't done an article like this for Canada. Might paint a better picture of what airsoft is about to people and maybe help relax the boarder a little on airsoft or something, eventually anyhow.
__________________
Mint!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackthorne View Post
Its a good thing stupidity doesnt have mass or whole sections of this board would collapse in and destroy themselves in a stupidity singularity.
Rukus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 13:59   #4
Pip
 
Pip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montreal, QC
Send a message via MSN to Pip
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks View Post
America has far different views about guns, and things that look like guns, than the rest of the world.

True but i'd have to say that Canada seems to be the country most afraid of them. Anything and everything to do with "militaria" or something that can be conceived as promoting violence is suppressed. To be perfectly honest i think its bloody rediculous, but thats the way things are and i can't change that.

What i really don't like is the fact that we can't, as an airsoft community, come out of the woodwork and show people what we are about. If articles like this could be written and news reports aired to show our sport in a positive light then i think there would be a massive change in gov't policy on airsoft (provided of course they aren't swayed by the thought of losing the "soccer mom vote" haha like that won't happen ).

I mean lets face it, airsoft guns fire 6mm bb's, make them legal to own import and use if over the age of 18, and have a 0 tolerance policy for abuse and use in public. Strong punnishment is whats needed, not a bloody slap on the wrist because that does shit all....chuck ppl in the slammer for breaking the law!

Woah sorry for the rant, guess i'm pissed off today after reading that two guys here in Duncan who have been charged with first degree murder are going to have to wait two weeks until their court appearance! Talk about one bloody messed up system we have :S
__________________
My Sig was removed beacuse i'm a moron...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoSeven View Post
Smelly troll is smelly.
Pip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 14:27   #5
swatt13
Captain Awesome
 
swatt13's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Greater Grande Prairie (greater than vancouver)
the "mostly teenage boys" bit really kills the ambiance.
__________________
Age verifier southern Alberta

Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoSeven
a Systema PTW is like KD, where the noodles are plated in gold and the cheese sauce is actually a pool of hot naked women.
swatt13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 15:18   #6
Moat420
 
Moat420's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: North Delta
Send a message via MSN to Moat420
that and the ton of spelling mistakes
Moat420 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 16:57   #7
Greylocks
 
Greylocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gatineau, Quebec (Near Ottawa)
Pip, wether you like it or not, the view of the average Canadian (including politicians and law enforcement) about guns is NOT positive. It never was, and it's not likely to change.
We also are far from numerous enough to change things, so staying quiet works. It's worked well for a long time now.

The moment a large number of camo'ed people with machine guns shows up anywhere in public, the odds are really good that the police will arrive fast.

Or, if the media is present, be aware that anything you say and do can and will be taken out of context and spun to get the most coverage possible for the reporter's glory. That probably means making us look like terrorists in training or simply nuts.

On the other hand, if we were in Vermont or New Hampshire where gun laws are quite lax, people may even come to watch the games. This is not a situation that is likely to change soon, and forcing the issue into the public eye will likely not produce the effects you expect.

This gets discussed to death about every other month, so I guess we'll get the same thing posted in March.
Greylocks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 21:13   #8
-Number7-
 
-Number7-'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Ab, Canada
Seriously this is not so much a "good" article about airsoft as it is just explaining what the people are like and what it is. It doesn't seem to scream. "WE ARE GOOD SAFE PEOPLE LET US KEEP OUR SPORT/HOBBY!"

I think anyway that at least there is interest that is not negative. But it is more interest not defence.
__________________

loadout: SRC Gen3 G36C, KJW KP-05 hicapa, TM Spas-12 Stockless
-Number7- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 22:03   #9
kalnaren
 
kalnaren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Regardless, it would be nice to see some kind of positive exposure or at least an article like this explaining what the sport is in Canada. But like Grey said, anyone in the media is most likely to spin it into some way that gets the most views, which these days seems to be something with the headlines "terrorist" "violent" "radical" or anything else aforementioned in other replies.
kalnaren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 23:07   #10
Pip
 
Pip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montreal, QC
Send a message via MSN to Pip
in response to Greylocks and kalnaren, the spin the media would (and do) put on storied like this in Canada is what really pisses me off....*grumbles* but like you said its not going to change any time soon. I've been around long enough now to be cynical about such things :S
__________________
My Sig was removed beacuse i'm a moron...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoSeven View Post
Smelly troll is smelly.
Pip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 09:12   #11
Greylocks
 
Greylocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gatineau, Quebec (Near Ottawa)
My 2 cents is that airsoft will only be acceptable when real guns become acceptable again.
Greylocks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 09:22   #12
Gerkraz
 
Gerkraz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland
Send a message via MSN to Gerkraz
^ and at the rate we're going, that make take a good long while, unfortunately.
__________________

Need age verification in the St. John's, NL, area? Contact me.
Gerkraz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 10:15   #13
Scarecrow
A Total Bastard
 
Scarecrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tottenham
Send a message via Skype™ to Scarecrow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks View Post
My 2 cents is that airsoft will only be acceptable when real guns become acceptable again.
Agreed. This is a battle with the liberal forces which perpetuate the anti-gun message that permeates our culture. Ask someone why they don't like guns and you're likely to get a kneejerk unthoughtout response like "they're bad" or "they kill people". Until people stop mindlessly consuming these messages and become critical of the body of evidence and the statistical realities, we're fighting an uphill battle.
__________________
LIKE us on Facebook!!
Scarecrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 10:18   #14
kalnaren
 
kalnaren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks View Post
My 2 cents is that airsoft will only be acceptable when real guns become acceptable again.
Yea, not likely to happen in my life time. Though I'm not sure I really want real guns to become acceptable, unless they are seriously restricted. I completely understand the need to respect airsoft guns like real firearms, but I would hope there is some distinction.
kalnaren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2007, 15:09   #15
Greylocks
 
Greylocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Gatineau, Quebec (Near Ottawa)
If airsoft was treated under the same rules and requirements, even needing a PAL to buy, there would be fewer problems. All the regulations would be clear, at least.
Greylocks is offline   Reply With Quote
ReplyTop


Go Back   Airsoft Canada > General > General

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Airsoft Canada
eHobby Asia

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:46.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.