I’m an airsofter.
Airsoft was first introduced into the UK in the late 1900s and since then,the community has been increasingly expanding. But the truth is a lot of people have never heard of it. Before I came to uni, I never knew such a thing could exist, but it does, and oh how it has impacted my uni experience-literally-changing everything *cue dramatic music*
A lot of the time when I tell people about airsoft, the first thing I manage to get out is ‘you shoot people’, and their response? ‘So like paintball?’ Now, in the airsoft world, this is like calling Star Wars the same as Star Trek in the way that it is a ‘genuine’ issue. They might both involve shooting people but they are not the same.Of course, no one can blame you for making this comparison the first time, simply because we were all once ignorant to this distinction. But once you know, you know. I haven’t played paintball before, so I don’t have much authority in expressing the rules of the game, but as far as I’m concerned, you shoot balls of paint at people in a free-for-all fight, with enough competitive game-play to suit a universal crowd. Airsoft, on the other hand, incorporates more strategy. Using imitation firearms an airsofter is able to shoot enemies using spherical pellets, known as BBs. Unlike paintball, if you’re wearing a lot of kit it can be harder to tell if you’ve been hit. So airsoft is built on an honour system and one where you have to trust one another enough to call your hits-and god forbid if you don’t…
All in all, airsoft is an incredibly exciting sport. It’s intense for sure, but it leaves you feeling like you’ve challenged yourself: which really means something when the rest of the week has been filled with guilt-ridden procrastination. It really puts things in balance!
But why do I do airsoft? Because fun times. Despite the struggle of exercise and constant realization that you are by no means, a fit specimen, it’s just really fun. Other than being able to you to shoot the crap out of your mates, I fundamentally enjoy airsoft for its sense of immersion. It allows you to enter a different world, integrating yourself into a real zone where you can play out possibly dangerous situations, requiring skill and a level head. Like reading a book you’re able to play your own character; you are part of a team in action, and it’s incredibly liberating to have that experience.
Currently I play at an outdoor site so taking part in airsoft means preparing myself for wading through bogs and coping with crawling on hedges of thorns. The terrain is quite intense compared to playing at a CQB site (indoors) but both places are equally as good, you just have to tailor your style of play to each site.
Whether you worry about the BBs or you’re just wary of this form of combat sport, it’s important to realise that airsoft is something really enlivening and fun to take part in. So if you ever have the chance to do it, it’s definitely worth a try at the very least.