Sunday, January 17, 2010

Function over Form? Form over Function?

We see many different types of players at TNT Paintball. The one thing they all have in common is that they come to play paintball and come to have fun. The majority of our customers rent our equipment to play, but more and more of our customers have their own equipment. I think this is a natural progression of any sport or activity that becomes more popular over time. Golf courses for instance have very few renters these days.

Those that bring their own equipment bring a wide variety. We have players bring low-end pumps, mid-range pumps, and high-end pumps. We have players bringing basic mechanical semi-autos, basic electronic semi-autos, mid-range electronic semi-autos and high-end electros. Some of these markers would have Buck Rogers in amazement (you younger folk will have to google Buck Rogers if you don’t know who I’m talking about) with their futuristic looks. Some markers are brand new but look like they may have seen active duty 50 or 60 years ago. Some are very light and some are not.

Everyone has their own idea of what is right for them. For me it’s a light, easy to maneuver pump. On the other hand, I see lots of markers that are more “realistic” looking that look like they probably weigh close to 10 pounds. Those that use them don’t seem to complain though. Then there are those that like the light, maneuverable electros that can spit out paintballs at what many think are insane rates. These are the markers tourney players use and they use them for a reason; if you know how to use it, you will have a better chance of eliminating the opposition with one.

There is constant debate on virtually every paintball forum about this marker, or that marker, and which is better, and which marker is a pile of junk. Marker reviews are always interesting. Nine times out of ten, the reviewer seems to give his marker rave reviews. I think a lot of that has to do with justifying their decision to buy it in the first place. Obviously, it’s the “type” of marker they wanted, otherwise they wouldn’t have bought it in the first place.

In the end though, is all the debating really worth the effort? Do I really care what the other guys are shooting? If a player wants to haul around a ten pound marker, set it up on bipods, calibrate his sights and play GI Joe, should I think he is silly, just because it’s not what I would do? Should I condemn a player for spending $1,000 on a high end pump, even though I would never spend that much? Should I make fun of the kid that shows up at the field with a $49 plastic paintball marker from Walmart?

Live and let live, I say. Play your game and let others play their game. Have fun and let others have fun, whatever form that may come in. As long as it’s not harming me or other players directly, go for it. Have fun. That’s all any of us go to a paintball field in the first place for, isn’t it? So don’t let yourself be influenced too much by others’ opinions, and don’t try to be too opinionated about what others do. Let’s just all have fun.

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