1) “What type of game did you want to play when you first got into paintball?” |
2) “What made you progress to your current preferred style of play?”
1. First time in '90 was just to mess round with a huge group of friends from school. Had never even heard of it, and had no expectations other than some dirtier version of Lazertag. We played a night game in the woods with PGPs, and I shot maybe 10 paintballs the whole evening, and absolutely became addicted.
2. A smaller group of us got into regular play, then got caught up in the 'arms race', then briefly did the tourney thing and still later discovered speedball. But probably the most transformative moment was during a scrimmage in the early 90s with the Thundering Herd out of Cincinnati, OH. This was a team that consistently beat the pants off of us whippersnappers. During one of the games Tim Osborne of Storm Paintball told us all to just sit tight while he had some fun. So we sat there and for the next several minutes watched him stroll around with a Phantom and take out a 10-man (technically 8-man, 2-woman) team rocking automags, cockers, VMs and Pro/Ams.
As for Tim, he wasn't playing ninja or sniper, or anything cheesy. He wasn't taking himself seriously. He was just having serious fun with it and giggling to himself in his quirky way.
Don't know what happened to all those folk, but that moment was a powerful lesson. That sense of sheer enjoyment, of not allowing the game to become anything more than a game, always stuck with me.
I suspect that some eschew speedball because of the attitude of many players therein (i.e., 'agglets'). Yet speedball can be enormously fun. By the same token, many eschew woodsball for the same reason. Yet woodsball can also be enormously fun. In both cases proponents of one style probably disfavor the attitudes of the other side more than the style itself. Unless, of course, it is a misinformed provincialism about their own and other styles that gets in the way.
So while I personally have come to enjoy most styles of play, this is largely a result of learning to have the right attitude about it, which is to say, viewing the sport as true 'sport', which is to say, as Play.