Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why do people play paintball?

I read a post today of a young man today who is giving up paintball. At least that’s what he says he is doing. His reason is that chasing the dream of being great player leaves people poor and wasting their life. He had only being playing for two years.

It got me thinking about why people play paintball. I’ve heard his story before, quite often actually. But for the most part, the people I know that play paintball regularly, play for fun. They have no ambition to be great players, to get a free ride, or even get paid for playing. Now eventually, virtually everyone quits playing the game they first fell in love with. There are lots of reasons players get side tracked and drop out of paintball. We all know that. But for a relatively new player to quit because he realizes that paintball holds no future for him and is sucking the life out of him, is really quite sad in my opinion.

It comes down to expectations I guess. What do you, as a player, expect to get out of playing paintball? For me, all I expect is to have a good time. I don’t care if I win or lose, although I do have more fun when I get more eliminations that than the number of times I get eliminated. But even those days when the ratio is against me, if I can get one or two really good eliminations, I can go home happy and look forward to my next day of play.

If I went to field and felt I had to perform at a certain level every time I went, or if I needed to get more eliminations than anyone else, and if that did not happen, I would be bummed out, I too would probably quit, when I came to the realization that the game was no longer fun, but was a stressful job instead. When I think of it that way, it makes it clear why tournament paintball is having as much problems as it has. The ratio of people that choose stress and poverty over fun and relaxation is quite low I bet. Actually I don’t have to bet, I am positive it is. So if you are a player that has just recently discovered paintball, make sure you understand what awaits you on the path you choose to travel. And if you are a new field owner or a person contemplating opening a field, think about which path you want you want to set your business up on.


  1. When I opened my field I assumed everyone would come to play for the fun. A few years later I became discouraged and considered getting out. It was not until I set my path did things turn around. We learned it's impossible to please everyone. It's been much more enjoyable catering to the fun crowd.

  2. We all choose the paths we take. Sometimes those choices are very conscious, sometimes not so much. I consider myself extremely lucky that we have never lost sight of the fact that our first priority is to make sure our customers are having fun. It's not important to me if our customers become great paintball players. As a matter of fact, just having players around that want to be great, at any cost, seems to take away much of the fun for everyone else.

    Besides, as you said, it's much more enjoyable to cater to people just out to have fun. Who doesn't want to have a job where they are surrounded by happy people, especially if you are a big part of the reason they are happy.