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Old 07-10-2006, 08:48 AM
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Lightbulb What is Airsoft??

Ok I know what you are thinking but this is not another n00b post. This is a serious attempt to help clear the air and explain when one is asked the question "What is airsoft?" and to also help explain to your friends.

What first comes to mind when you are asked to explain airsoft? Words like military simulation, tactics, team work, mission, objects, etc... come to mind. Also you are bound to get the "isnt that just like paintball" comment. There is the one comment that makes all true airsofters. True airsoft is about as much like popular paintball, as football is like basketball. Sure they are both a sport and sure you are trying to get the ball to the other end of the court but the method of getting it there is not the same(forgive my analogy I am not a sports guy)

So the question is what do you say when you are asked about airsoft. I personally usually come up with an answer along the lines of....Airsoft is a military simulation sport/hobby in which two or more teams are pitted against one another using military tactics to either eliminate each other or in the pursuit of mission objectives which may or may not be given point values. At large events there are almost always mission objectives with point values attatched that both allow the missions to last several hours and to keep track of the teams progress.

When asked about the rules I just explain them to the best of my ability. Our rules arent really that complicated, either its one hit elimination or they are some form of medic rules. I can usually explain the medic rules in a few minutes.

The next question I always get is "doesn't it hurt?" This question usually makes me laugh. Yes you can feel the hits but pain is subjective.

Then there are the usually dont they sell those guns at Walmart comments. I personally refer to those guns as "Crapsoft". Walmart specials are about as much like my TM G36 as a Yugo is like a Porche.

Now I do realize from time to time even the most serious airsofter will play some paintsoft games, I do too. But I would much rather be out in the woods crawling on my belly toward a mission objective, then burning ammo just for the sake of shooting something.

These are just my thoughts on the subject. And since this is a forum for General Discussion of Airsoft. Discuss and have at it.

**Note to Mods**
I tried to keep my opinions out of this to comply with the forums rules, I am sorry If I infringed upon those rules.
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Last edited by Sidd; 07-10-2006 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:35 PM
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I guess it really depends on how much time you have. Usually for me its some stranger passerby or my friends parents. I say its like paintball, but with plastic bbs. I say its safer, more realistic, and more fun. It is not as accurate, but I can say that in 30 secconds. If it was a more serious person and I had time, well I'd probably say things along the lines of what you said.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:01 PM
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I don't tell people it's like paintball, as I don't want them to get a wrong impression. Like Sidd, I tell people it's more military simulation than just running around and shooting each other.
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:11 PM
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i usually say its a form military simulation. something short and to the point.
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Old 07-17-2006, 12:14 AM
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I eat their ear off, when someone asks me what airsoft is.

It is a near accurate, military simulation where players divide into teams based upon real life military forces, such a the USMC, SFOD-D, or Russian Spetznas and partake in mock combat to complete complex, replicated military objectives such as securing and evacuating a captured president. The combat is done using highly realistic, completely non-lethal BB guns, firing an extremely light weight BB between 300 and 550 feet per second. There are extensive safety precautions, despite the guns being quite safe, such as eye and often face protection regulations.

Yep, that's what I tell people.

All the "guns are very safe" crap is because I got sick of people worrying and getting on the "OMG! You'll get hurt!" bandwagon. I heard it enough from my grandmother.
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Last edited by Duo Chan; 07-17-2006 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:27 AM
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Airsoft, at it's core, is not really a military simulation. It is whatever you make of it.

When people ask me "What is Airsoft?", I explain that it is a relatively broad question when given the way it is often decribed by different people in it's sporting community. At it's core, "Airsoft" decribes the technology that separates an airsoft gun from a real firearm, paintball gun, Simunition-firing gun, RAM, BB gun or other air guns. These guns are are best described as realistic-looking replica firearms that shoot a lightweight 6mm or 8mm plastic BB at non-lethal velocities. "Airsoft replicas" or "Airsoft guns" are simulated firearms that shoot a safe projectile which are used for many purposes, including police and military training, target shooting and combat recreation.

So airsoft isn't technically a military simulation by sport or design. Airsoft is a technology. Anyone care do agree to disagree?

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Old 07-17-2006, 06:34 AM
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Good point, Darkstar. I've never looked at it that way.
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:03 PM
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I tell people different things, depending on age and background. If they are my age I first ask if they play paintball. If they say yes, I tell them that we play around 400 fps, and the main thing, they are based on real guns and its much more realistic. If they say no I just explain it the most basic way possible. Basically a greatest hits of what is posted on this topic!

Neil
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darkstar
Airsoft, at it's core, is not really a military simulation. It is whatever you make of it.

When people ask me "What is Airsoft?", I explain that it is a relatively broad question when given the way it is often decribed by different people in it's sporting community. At it's core, "Airsoft" decribes the technology that separates an airsoft gun from a real firearm, paintball gun, Simunition-firing gun, RAM, BB gun or other air guns. These guns are are best described as realistic-looking replica firearms that shoot a lightweight 6mm or 8mm plastic BB at non-lethal velocities. "Airsoft replicas" or "Airsoft guns" are simulated firearms that shoot a safe projectile which are used for many purposes, including police and military training, target shooting and combat recreation.

So airsoft isn't technically a military simulation by sport or design. Airsoft is a technology. Anyone care do agree to disagree?

Darkstar out.
How delightfully Marxist of you, Darkstar! Anthropologists who describe culture according to the technologies which influence them tend to label each other "Marxist" in that Marxism is at its theoretical heart a philosophy of technology. Instead of describing something as a product of the desires or intentions of the people who participate, the culture is seen through its physical products and technology- A very apt method of looking at the way things are and the differences between two very closely related yet distinct groups. (For instance, it's the only way to tell the difference between, say, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and B sites from 5400-9600BC. If we didn't have their tools and structures, we wouldn't know there was a difference between them.)

Ahem.

To get back on topic, I agree with Darkstar's summation, with some reservations. Because we have live people and photographic evidence, I think we can take it a step further than the technology and say that airsoft is combat simulation with life-like replicas of real guns. I doubt we would have the technology without the purpose (or perhaps the praxis) of engaging in non-life-threatening combat. So, I would say that by design, the sport is indeed martial in nature (not necessary military) combat, in that what airsoft weapons seek to emulate are for that purpose almost exclusively. However, I guess if we're looking only at the hobby, ie, the weapon, gear, etc, you could look at it from a collector or hobbyists point of view and say that it is simply the technology, technological manifestation, item itself, or even the item's particular provenience that makes the weapon what it is.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:39 PM
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Airsoft, to me, is first and foremost a sport. There are goals, and my team I must follow a preset set of rules to accomplish these goals. Then it is a MilSim. I use military tactics to complete these goals, while my opponent (or 'Enemy') attempts to hinder my ability to complete these goals. Then it is a hobby. By modifying my equipment with my own mechanical and electronic skills, etc., I can improve it's performance to give me an edge when it comes to the other aspects of Airsoft.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:33 PM
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Gerdie, I agree, and I agree with many of you as to what airsoft is interpreted as. But it depends on the terminology one uses when they ask the question, and therefore I must expand on my previous post in order to better explain how I define airsoft, and it's various entities.

People ask questions in a variety of different ways, and those who know me well know how picky I can be in my interpretation of the English language. For example, when someone says "Can I see that?", I usually answer "Sure! You're already looking at it arren't you???". Some may think I'm a smart-a$$, but that's just me. Of course, I like to find a reason to teach people proper language use, even if I do the same thing sometimes too (Hurray!! I'm a hipocrit !!!! ). My point is that if someone asks "What is airsoft?", I'm going to respond differently than if someone asks "What is the airsoft sport all about??". If someone asks "Can you explain to me what Airsoft is all about?" then I'm probably going to give them a different, more broad answer.

For example:

If someone asks "What is Airsoft?", I would reply with my previous answer about the technology. I'm not trying to be Marxist or anything (Good call Gerdie), but I'm just explaining that airsoft is a technology and it was originally developed as a technology to replace traditional airgun and BB guns for practical use in military training. Since the military did not adopt the technology, the company who created the technology marketed it primarily for recreational use, specifically marketed to target shooters, hunters and gun collectors for indoor shooting and close-range plinking.

The "Airsoft" is a technology, and that technology centers around a specific prepulsion system to propel a lightweight BB that produces lower impact energy less damage. Therefore, when someone asks "What is Airsoft?", I am going to respond in a predictable and specific way.

If someone asks, "What are Airsoft Guns?", I would have a different answer. I would say that Airsoft Guns are realistic replica firearms that are designed to used the latest airsoft technology to shoot lightweight plastic BB's. Airsoft guns come in many varieties and are designed to recreate the look and feel of real weapons while remaining safe and non-lethal. Recently airsoft gun technology has progressed to the point where they are now commonly used for military and law enforcement training, target shooting, competition shooting and for recreational simulated combat. The bulk of airsoft guns are used by the general public and airsoft enthusiasts in recreational events which attempt to recreate combat scenarios of various type. Many people refer to this use of airsoft as a competitive sport.

If someone asks "Is Airsoft a sport?", I would say that it depends on who you ask. Some people will call it a sport and only a sport, while others may not, and may consider it a simulation or something else. I primarily consider the recreational and commercial training applications of airsoft a sport. Modern airsoft has indeed primarily become a recreational activity, commonly referred to as an Airsoft Sport, or "The Sport of Airsoft".

So really, it depends on the question asked that will determine how I respond. I would define Airsoft specifically as a technology and not a sport, but rather a sport that has now adopted the name of the Technology, as in "Airsoft Sport" or "The Sport of Airsoft". It's definitely a complex way of answering a simple question.... or... maybe is a simple way of answering a complex question??

Darkstar out.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:12 PM
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If I'm not trying to answer that question here, I just hide under the table until the other person leaves and then resume my normal life ...

Ok not really. I usually just say I'm a re-enactor if I'm caught in uniform especially if its not USmillitary stuff. I've given up trying to explain it to strangers at some small town restaurant.
If I am explaining it to friends or family I usually just show them.

Demonstrations work better.

As for a true definition, that seems harder to nail down since airsoft is part sport and part hobby, with tactics to boot.

I'll leave the discussion up to the philosophers and Marxis
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Old 07-19-2006, 12:07 PM
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my simple answer to this question is: look it up on wikipedia

wikipedia reads
Airsoft is a term used interchangeably to refer to two related components of a popular sport:
1:1 (Full scale) replica firearms that shoot lightweight 6mm or 8mm spherical plastic pellets (called BBs) at sufficiently low velocities to make them safe for use in gaming purposes. These replicas are also sometimes referred to as soft air or softair guns to differentiate them from traditional .22 and .177 (4.5mm) caliber pellet-firing air guns, which are not safe for use in gaming purposes.
A game in which players participate in the simulation of military- or law enforcement-style combat using such replicas.

but if i am asked in a location where i do not have computer access, i would standardly reply with something along the lines of...
airsoft is a military tacical simulation hobby, in which people run around a specific area with realistic looking guns that fire 6mm or 8mm plastic bb's.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:37 PM
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usually when i dont have much time, i say airsoft is like paintball, because i could care less what the other person thinks, but i go much more indepth if I know i could maybe get them to play or i care what they think... Then i would say airsoft is like paintball, but 1. the guns use plastic bbs, and 2. they have much more firepower (fps, range, sometime rate of fire, mag size), and 3. the guns look real and the players also look the part (they should, depending on where you are soemtimes it bugs me when people dont) and 4. the gameplay is much more milsim, more realistic, many times more indepth strategy.
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