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Old 05-21-2014, 09:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"Mine was probably the last generation of American boys whose favorite game was " war".

Yeah, right... We we're playing war all though the mid '80s with are plastic noisemaking m16s.

Still an awesome article every time I read it.
I'm still playing war.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting read. I had heard about the SI article, but never read it. The story of the first game varies greatly from what Lionel ("Tony") Atwill wrote in his book. All this has done is left me wondering what the real story is, though I'm compelled to believe the SI article over Atwill's book, as the book was written two years after the SI article.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ditto. I've read several different versions over the years too.

Now, some of that could be put down to time- later writings might tend to fluff things up a bit, or leave out the more embarrassing parts, and so on. Others are almost certainly due to writer error- the simple fact that somebody telling a story verbally to a second person, who "interprets" it his own way and then has to write an entertaining draft of it.

I've been involved in enough stories that made the local papers that I have a solid view just how the story can get garbled. Names get misspelled, captions of photos describe the wrong thing, actions get overhyped (a bunker run being described as a "mad rush for victory through a whizzing hail of paint-bullets" and so on.)

In one article alone, they misspelled my name three times. And that's not the worst of it- they misspelled it three different ways in the same article.

On the first game, one account I read described how one of the players happened across some people camping in the playing area- who reacted as you might imagine to the appearance of a scruffy guy in BDUs and camo face paint and holding a pistol.

Another article on the first game said it was officially started by somebody firing a blast from a shotgun. The SI article only hinted at a "starting horn"- which might have been metaphorical, and the writer simply left out the shotgun part.

Also, the difference between this article and Atwill's account is almost certainly in part due to points of view- what one player went through is not necessarily what the other player saw and thought and did.

But still, it's a fun read. And interesting that the word "paintball" doesn't appear even once.

Doc.
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Old 05-22-2014, 07:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Part of me wonders if the first game wasn't deliberately concocted as the backstory for a business enterprise. Not that it didn't happen, but that it was planned early on to kick off NSG. The invitees to the first game were so diverse that nearly everyone can identify with at least one player, so many businessmen and entrepreneurs were involved, and one of the players just so happened to write for Sports Illustrated... seems awfully convenient.

Not that I mind.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Part of me wonders if the first game wasn't deliberately concocted as the backstory for a business enterprise. Not that it didn't happen, but that it was planned early on to kick off NSG. The invitees to the first game were so diverse that nearly everyone can identify with at least one player, so many businessmen and entrepreneurs were involved, and one of the players just so happened to write for Sports Illustrated... seems awfully convenient.

Not that I mind.
You might say the same thing about the appearance of the Vietnam vet. However, the 80s were a bit of social relief for Vietnam vets in that a lot of the stigma from the war was forgotten and the vets were more open to discussion. It wasn't uncommon to find a few on the paintball field in the late 80s, early 90s.
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