In most wars, once a person is shot they are hurt, or even killed. These days people are experiencing war without getting hurt or killed. They do this by participating in the game of paintball. Anyone one young or old can wear armor, carry a gun, and fight a make believe war. The object of this game is to capture a flag from another group of people who are also armed with guns and armor. When the game begins there is no telling whats going to happen next. The players experience feelings of fear, excitement and bravery. There is always the chance that someone will be shot, but there is also the knowledge that someone will be victorious.
Throughout history, there has been a lot of battles during which one side captured the other sides flag. There were heavy casuties on both sides and sometimes both sides have lost, neither side capturing the others flag. This was a serious dilemma in those days and the more men you had the better. These days there is Paintball, a make believe war of capture the flag. Only there isnt as great a risk, and people who are shot go to a safe zone and wait for the next game. The same factors are all there, an uneven number of defenders vs. attackers. The defenders are in a makeshift fort and the attackers are slowly moving across an obstacle field in a dimly lit old building. If players use good tactics they can pin down their marksmen and siege forward to claim their prize.
To describe the feelings while playing, picture yourself in a group of people that you really dont know or trust. Now you have your mask and armor on and your gun is locked and loaded. The referee explains the rules and you set up. You and three other people are in the middle ranks of your forces. The room is dimly lit and your mask is starting to fog because youre breathing a little heavier. You try to get a quick look where your enemy is before the whistle blows and youre fair game. You notice a bunker with a sniper and the game begins Shots ring out as the sniper is trying to shoot you! As you hide behind the barricade with the fear of being shot. Your first though is to fall back and run and hide, but you stand your ground. You are frozen with fear as the sniper is shooting many your teammates. Then you see one of your teammates next to you starting to move forward and you realize he needs help getting there. At this point, youre sweating profusely, and your heart is beating faster and faster. Down the hall, you run, screaming charge! at the top of your lungs, laying cover fire, while your own snipers try to shoot their snipers. You dive for cover as teammates are being shot around you Then you notice youre at the next level. All the people on your team that are left alive are behind you. The sniper isnt shooting any more in the first bunker is empty. The next plan is to get the flag. It is only in the next bunker and you made it this far. Your heart is pounding in your chest and your hands are shaking. You are excited, and there is only ten feet between you and the flag. You feel very brave; nothing can keep you from getting that flag. No one is shooting at you, and there are no sounds from the enemy. You charge to get the flag. As you grab it, you see your enemy and they are waiting for you. An ambush was set and they shoot at you. You dodge out of the way of their shots, only to be hit by paint from another sniper. Game over. It was a good one and your team ends up winning. You cant wait to start all over again with new people. Maybe you can be the sniper next time.
When a person plays paintball, the desire to win the game controls their behavior. When the person realizes that even if they are shot they wont be killed, courage comes easily. Players are often scared the first few times they participate in the game, but the fear wears off. The more they play, the better they get at it. Its surprising who becomes good at the game. A person who is normally quiet in real world can be lethal in the paintball world. A person, who thinks he is skillful in the art of war, can be out of the game in 5 minutes. People never know until they try it.
Some people feel that you cant compare paintball to real life events. They believe the game is just a bunch of children running around with guns. However, to survive at paintball you should have a good sense of tactics, and try to have a good strategy. Although it is just a game, you experience many of the same emotional reactions that people have during a real war. Fear and anxiety go hand in hand with the basic sense of survival. The difference between paintball and real war is that once you play paintball, you want to do it again. Of coarse after you are done shooting your best friend you can take him out for dinner and discus more tactics over pizza and beer.