Why Do I Play Airsoft?
(photo: back row starting with the Space Force - Jet DesertFox, Nicholas Irving, Matt from Demolition Ranch; Evike Matt. Unicorn Leah in center)
It’s nice to lose yourself every once in a while. After all, health professionals encourage adults to have hobbies and exercise their imaginations just as they did when they were kids. Multiple studies have shown that this can add years to your life as well as increase your overall well-being. In fact, it may be even more important to be able to “lose” yourself as the trials and tribulations of adult life can tend to weigh heavily on oneself; causing many adults to lose themselves in unhealthy ways - whether it be drugs, alcohol, social media, binge-eating, or any other addictive behaviors.
Airsoft : Adult Game of Cowboys and Indians or Video Games Come to Life?
I moved to California in 2012 after spending my life growing up in Kansas and Louisiana. While I was excited for the change in weather and proximity to the mountains and ocean; I was left with wanting to get back to my “roots” so to speak; growing up playing the childhood games of Cowboys & Indians out in the country. When I heard about a game played with realistic-looking guns where you shoot your friends with plastic BB’s; I was IN. Here was a fun, safe, and healthy way to essentially play video games in real life. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have some self-defense skills in real life. Here, you can use your imagination and hone your real-world skillsin a fun and non-threatening way.
There are lots of different ways to play airsoft. One spectrum is very X-Games-esque, with bright colors, sleek masks, and lots of engagement. Then, there’s the more tactical, long-game (think of the board game RISK in real life); where players simulate realistic war scenarios and learn tactics from real combat and special forces veterans. In between those two spheres, there is a whole host of ways to exercise your imagination and have fun; whether it be role-playing an apocalyptic scenario, or playing casual “pick up games” or “skirmishes” with objectives like Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy, or any other popular video game mode - almost all of them can be played in real life.
Airsoft is the Spice that Gives Life Variety
For me, variety is the spice of life, and the wide range of ways to play airsoft keeps things fresh, fun, and diverse. This hobby reaches all across the globe - with airsoft being played in Japan, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, the whole of western Europe and North America to name a few. I’ve been able to travel the world in this hobby, playing all across the United States; in Aruba, Mexico, Scotland, and England. It’s a common thread throughout the world, and a way to bond and meet people from different cultures; sharing in a common hobby that brings everyone together in the spirit of camaraderie. (photo) When we play airsoft, we don’t alienate one another based on political or religious views. While playing the game; we don’t worry about whether or not someone is using Elite Force BB’s or guns - because we know there is a bigger picture at work. No matter our opinions on guns, gear, or politics, we come together to meet a shared goal and work together despite our differences. And I think the world could use a little more of that - working together, despite our differences...because we’re really not all that different when it comes down to it. We just need a commonality to bring us together. That is airsoft.
By: Leah Del Castillo (Unicorn Leah)