First Person Shooter Made Real

Apr 1, 2016

Video game ninja - King of the button mashers, lord of the couch.

There he is again. Sitting on a couch, talking smack with people he’s never met in real life, shouting with glee when he “kills” an enemy player. He lives for it! The thrill of pressing a button and watching a character on his screen drop. “YES!” he shouts as he shoves another handful of chips into his mouth.

Games like Halo, Call of Duty, Titanfall, etc., are exciting. But they don’t really test the player’s true mettle. Video games don’t test you physically; you don’t have to be physically aware of your surroundings. They’re just not real.

Perhaps this is why paintball has become one of the fastest growing social sports. It brings reality to first-person-shooter gaming that can never be experienced through a controller. Here’s how playing paintball will challenge you in ways FPS video games cannot:

Mental Readiness

The graphics are stunning, the area looks real and you make your way around your digital world without leaving the couch.

Paintball challenges your mental readiness. For example, “dying”. When you die in a video game, you watch digital blood flow down your screen and your character falls to the ground while the image fades to black. You let go a couple expletives and take and another drink from your beverage of choice while everything resets so you can get back in the game.

In paintball, you know that to die means being tagged by a paintball. It’s gonna sting. Real people are shooting real rounds at you. You can hear (and sometimes feel) the paintballs whiz by as they barely miss you. The adrenalin rush is real. The sense of danger is real. If you are hit, you’re “dead”. You’re out of the game until there’s a winning team or player. Paintball requires a different mental state of mind than video games.

Physical Endurance

The obstacles, the weather, the smell of the woods - it's all real. So are the opponents trying to take you out of the game.

Running, jumping, crawling. Paintball is a fast moving, contact sport that requires players to run, maneuver, duck and hide – it challenges you physically. This is one of the reasons our paintball sessions are only two hours. Add to the basic physical challenges the reduced oxygen due to altitude (we are at 8,600 feet after all) and two hours is about as much play time as most people want. When you’re done playing paintball, you are physically exhausted. Your entire body, not just your fingers, has had a real workout.

Tactical Team Play

The adrenalin starts pumping as soon as you enter the paintball course and you realize, this is for real.

There’s a different level of tactical team play required for paintball. There are no headphones to communicate with team members. Hand signals, advanced planning, strategic adjustments when the game doesn’t quite go the way you expected – real time tactics. The result is a great sense of accomplishment when your team captures the fort, takes the flag, or defeats all others.

Weather & Terrain

When playing your FPS game and it starts to rain, have you ever gotten wet? You jump into a river and swim across to the other side; have you really felt the current fighting against you? Of course not. This is not the case with paintball. When it rains, you get wet. When the sun is shining fiercely, you feel real heat. The weather is an ally and a foe in paintball. The weather factors into the game for real and it can change everything. (It’s that mental readiness factor again.)

When you run into a wall in an FPS game; do you feel the impact? Only if you have a friend standing by to slap you upside the head when you run into a digital wall. Have you ever tripped over an unseen obstacle in your FPS game? Probably not. When you play paintball, you have to be very aware of the terrain. Run into a tree – you’ll know it. Trip over a root, you smell dirt.

Paintball – A Growing Social Sport

Maybe these things are why paintball is making a resurgence and is one of the fastest growing social sports. People want real. FPS games are great – as a placebo for the real thing. But only paintball can deliver a real first-person-shooter experience. If you’ve never played, you won’t get this. If you have – you know what I’m talking about.

Give it a shot. Go to a paintball field near you and play a game. You’ll be hooked. If you visit Summit County Colorado and want to see what paintball at 8,600 feet is like – book a reservation with us.


Summit County Paintball co-owner Jeff McElhattan
By
Black Bear Paintball
Co-Owner
Silverthorne, Colorado

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