The Rise and Fall of Airsoft

By Chris Fischer

“Three, two, one, go!” He goes sprinting up to the nearest bunker and hears the enemy’s first blind shots tear the leaves overhead to shreds. He motions for his team to move forward behind a fallen tree as he pops up and takes out an opponent with his automatic rifle. He hears a rustling behind him and goes for his pistol, but it’s too late. The soft sound of an electric motor followed by a loud crack comes out of the barrel of enemy standing right behind him.

“Owww! Ow, gosh! I’m out, I’m out!”

Airsoft: it’s a sport in which children shoot each other and have fun in doing it. And as painful as it seems, this phenomenon spread like wildfire in 2011 and 2012. But what happened to it? Asking anyone if they play will earn you some laughs even though most people probably have played it sometime in their lives.

But really what is Airsoft? If you ever see a little colorful plastic pellet lying on the ground then congratulations, because you just found a very essential part to the game. The main idea is that with an Airsoft gun, which can be electric, spring or gas powered, you try to shoot your opponents with tiny plastic BB’s. It’s very much like actual warfare, except that you won’t be mortally injured. The possibilities of the game are endless. Teams, capture the flag, and protect the president are just a few popular ones.

So why did this fun (and painful) game die out? Why did players go from competing almost every week, to a withdrawal from it for months? For some it was age, and now that they are in high school, shooting your friends seems pretty childish, no matter how exciting. According to Nick Cebel, a current 8th grader, some kids in his grade still play. It seems to be a phase of 8th grade, and by high school all that is left of the memory is a pile of guns in the closet or the occasional BB found lying in the yard. It’s similar to the crayon obsession of 1st grade (if anyone remembers that).

Ninth grade also brings more responsibility and more work, leaving less time to play a game like Airsoft. Ethan O’Connell said that he stopped playing “because we never had any time after the summer. And nobody was home at the same time.” For some, like Alex Jacobs, it just didn’t appeal to him anymore. Both of these individuals were the probably the largest Airsoft enthusiasts just six months ago.

Airsoft is dead at least for now. It is very possible that it will start up once again just as quickly as it ended.

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