After years of talk and thought and little action I made it out to play some
paintball. Come back in a couple of days and I’ll update this posting with pictures, for now some text.
The games were all walk on games, which just means if you want to play you just walk out to the field when they call out a new game. The rounds last about fifteen minutes and take place every 25 minutes or so. Since there were a lot of people out (about sixty or so) we weren't playing anything fancy with objectives like capture the flag, etc. The team with someone left at fifteen minutes won.
I was surprised by a few things. First, how for the most part, it didn't really hurt. It's sort of like getting slapped on the ass, it hurts for a second but by the time you really think about it you're just feeling randy and have forgotten about the sting. I was surprised how many times we all got hit and didn't notice it. There was some mild bruising for sure but nothing to cry about.
It was also cool to see how into it some people were. I mean for the most part the technology consist of a pipe attached to a small tank (think 20 oz soda bottle) of compressed air and another bottle that drops paintballs into the barrel. Basically something you could build out of crap at a hardware store. Very lo-tek. But then you got guys out there with long barrel guns with scopes. I swear I thought I saw one dude that I thought had a thermal sight. And then all sorts or variation within that range. Which is cool. The more people out in Vallejo shooting at each other with paintballs the less people holed up in Ruby Ridge or Waco.
I’d also like to note that all my extensive training in first person shooters
was total crap. It was a complete free for all. I can see how, in small trained units, you might be able to pull off some tactics, but 30 on 30 with about half of your team made up of wannabe militia and the other half being 14-year-old boys hyped up on hormones there wasn't much room for that. Good thing they had a bunch 25-30 year olds from San Francisco to show them how it's done.
The Play of the Day award goes to Dan who after sprinting across open terrain to take cover behind a large plastic barrier knocked it over and fell on top of it resulting in pretty much everyone on the opposing team hitting him. You could hear the hum of paintballs in the air.
Lastly I'd like to thank the crew who were kind enough to join me on this little bit of adventure. In no particular order Dan Sankey, Katrina Clark, Tara Regan, David Richard, Shawn Gurczak, Paula, Adam Anderson, Jackie Klem
As a postscript I'd like to add that everyone out there was very friendly and helpful, from the staff to the players except for the scary old dude in the fatigues, he could have been cool but no one was bothering to find out. The paintball field we went to was very accomidating and the staff answered all our questions and explained how the show is run very patiently. Dave even had some guy on the field throw him a refill of paintballs when he ran out (solidarity brother!) which is like a $5 value. Also, while I’m pretty much a noob, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. So get out there kids, you need the exercise!