I was reading one of those Smart parts was the Devil threads today where once again someone posted that Smart parts was to blame for much of the problems the industry faces because they put fast electronic markers in the hands of everyone with just a few hundred dollars in their pocket. The reasoning was that once “kids” could get markers ramping at tourney level rates relatively cheap, the sport started to go downhill.
Now I’m not going to argue that inexpensive, fast, dependable markers didn’t change the face of paintball. Of course it did. But anyone with a head on their shoulders would realize that if Smart Parts had not introduced the Ion, someone else would have eventually done exactly the same thing. It’s the American way and the way of the world. Technology advances. That’s just the way it is. When I was a teen my parents bought a 26” state of the art colour TV for about $800. A much better TV today can be had for under $200. Advancements in technology are going to happen, whether the old folks in their rockers want it to or not.
Some will say that the introduction of loaders capable of insane feeding rates, are what changed the game from a leisure activity into a high intensity pastime. There is probably some truth to that. For sure it was a contributing factor.
Technology is never going to stand still. Especially when there is a demand for it, and there certainly was in paintball. Players wanted faster, more dependable equipment and they wanted it for a low price, so that everyone could afford it and the game would expand in popularity to those that couldn’t afford it at the higher prices.
I wonder if those same people that blame Smart Parts for introducing the Ion would complain if auto makers came out with a high tech version of their cars for $10,000? I doubt it. But would that create problems on our highways, just like the Ion created problems at paintball fields? Maybe it would. All of a sudden, cars capable of insane speeds are available to virtually anyone. How would that affect the accident rates on our highways with everyone driving 220 mph? Or is that problem alleviated with enforcement of speed limits? Would cops handing out $200 tickets control the problem? At least a big part of it? Hmmm?!
So where are/were the cops in paintball? Oh yeah, they were busy selling paintballs. That’s sort of like giving gas station owners the job of enforcing driving habits. Probably a bad idea. Probably best just to blame the auto makers for bettering technology and making it affordable for more people. Cause technology really shouldn’t keep moving forward, right?