One of the reasons that I first got into airsoft was the togetherness of the community. Of course, I enjoyed the actual activity of the hobby as well - we grow up as kids playing friendly shooting games, so being able to continue those games as an adult is a bonus for everyone. Everyone can use an escape.
Community and Competition Thrive Together
The thing that really drew me into airsoft and made me want to immerse myself into the airsoft hobby was the sense of community within the hobby. Everyone was so helpful and accommodating: offering to lend airsoft gear or supplies, providing assistance with any issues, and encouraging other players to flourish in the hobby. In a country that is built on competition, it was refreshing to see others reaching out to one another for the sole purpose of enhancing the personal player experience. This is what allows airsoft to grow. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely players are to share this hobby with their friends and family.
Since companies (especially gun companies, example: Walther Arms) are unable to freely advertise their products/games on mainstream media; the only way that people can learn more about airsoft is by word of mouth. Thanks to the virtual world, it’s now easier to spread our love of airsoft “by word of mouth” - but that also means that it’s much easier for negativity to spread. In a society where trolling is the new “in” fad, it’s easy to get swept up in the antagonism. Very frequently, it seems like the old adage, “you catch more flies with honey” has gone by the wayside, and now the best way to get attention is by tearing others down or making fun of those with less experience and knowledge. People race to their keyboards to belittle one another; thinking that the more vengeance they spread against a perceived competitor, the more chance they will have of being noticed and subsequently sponsored.
These days, it seems like some people would sell their souls just for a free bottle of Elite Force BB’s or accessory for their gat. They would betray friends, backstab those that have helped them, whatever it takes - all for a brief glimpse of notoriety in an extremely niche hobby. Shockingly, there are even some professional businesses who have stooped so low as to pick public fights with their competitors. This is killing airsoft.
Don’t Be an Airsoft Kill Rag
Who wants to get involved in a hobby with betrayal at every turn? What is the benefit? While this type of behavior may provide fleeting “fame” - it is just that - fleeting. The more negativity there is within our hobby, the more people will give it up. Eventually, airsoft fields will close, airsoft pro shops will go out of business, and the hobby will die...all because the trolls, the airsoft kill rags if you will, have forced all those enthusiastic new airsoft players out of the hobby. Those players will take their positivity, enthusiasm, and money to a new hobby; a hobby where new players aren’t mocked, they are befriended.
Make Love Don’t Wage War on Airsoft
It’s time we put our keyboard warrior skills to use for the benefit of the Greater Good. Use your passion for airsoft to help new players navigate their way through a hobby with a steep learning curve. Use your extra energy to help create content for your local field or pro shop. Create airsoft videos from events that you loved; share insight as to WHY you love airsoft so much. The more positive media that’s out there about our hobby, the stronger it becomes. It’s easy for the media to get inundated with content from irresponsible airsofters; don’t let that become the new normal. Don’t click on videos or share content with negative headlines. It’s just clickbait. The more those negative catchphrases are shared, the more damage you do to airsoft as a whole. No one wants to join a hobby where “CHEATER!” or other equally despicable headlines are the leading content. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we share our love of airsoft in a positive light. Join the fight to Make Airsoft Great Again - POSITIVELY great!