Here I am again, reading and watching news footage of kids and teen getting in trouble with airsoft replicas and anti-gun folks up in arms about criminalizing guns and everything guns. Around the same time, I finally returned to play a day of airsoft and realizing the game sits between its values. I witnessed this first hand. Some people I might put as those players who take it up as a game and some groups of people take it as a hobby; however there is some consensus on the rules of the game.
Honesty is a heavy value in airsoft. In games I’ve played, there have been instances where players don’t call their hits. As much as the players endorse people to call your hits when shot, I’ve seen some people who don’t receive this message properly. My local arena always says during their safety briefing, “Airsoft is a game of honour. Call your hits.” Which brings me to my next point, integrity.
Integrity is self reflection after the situation and able to act the same wherever they go. Meaning you are the same person with the same view at work as you would be at home. Airsofters I’ve played with have a range of integrity, which is interesting. Some people like to talk honestly and play like a foul player while some do play an honest game. When calling hits, whether you raise your hand up or not, you did indeed were shot. You are admitting a fault, you were shot! If you take hundreds of BB’s to the face and complain about another player not calling hits, you might want to check your values. Airsoft is still a game, you can always respawn and try again.
Along with receiving, sending someone BB’s is much more a demonstration of personal values in terms of respect, responsibility and fairness. Respect to the respect and obedience to field rules, I admit I may have a few times came to breaking rules. At my local field, they have a strict no vaulting rule. Vaulting meaning jumping up, over and through obstacles. I may have in my own 6 month stint have jumped over a few low windows. Respect can also be seen from player to player in terms of being fair to other players the opportunity to show mercy. The field I got to don’t have range rules, in theory you can shoot someone point blank. However I’ve seen a varying degree in restraints. As many players have shot me point blank, there have been players who asked to surrender or just swapped to melee. Respect for personal equipment; leave it where it lays or return it to the front desk. Which leads into responsibility for yourself and fellow players. Helping other ensure all equipment is still on them and helping the game marshal recover lost equipment. I poorly displayed my values of responsibility for losing a pistol magazine which I have to now replace. As well as breaking a feed lip from my spare magazine, I am not a prime example of responsibility; however I do admit my faults as a player, that’s self respect and integrity. Lastly most players I’ve seen is fairness when it comes with over shooting. Most players I’ve seen have restraint and good trigger discipline to not shoot a downed player walking away to respawn. It’s a value heavily for me since I’m usually the one being shot first.
The local field does have one value they highly enforce, safety. Personal safety on the field since plastic BB’s fly at 380 feet per second. They endorse full seal eye protection at the minimum, but full face protection is recommended. Last weekend, I was humble to my mesh mask since the games got into a team on team with 40 players on each side. I did get shot in the face a good dozen times, my face would look like pepperoni pizza without the face mask. Then their “no duff” calls, used when safety has been violated where the game must stop to assess the situation. As recommended if the googles fog up, get off the field and deal with it in the safe zone and if it’s serious, call a “no duff” to let everyone know some happened. Recently with news of someone getting shot in the eye with a replica gun, they were cracking down on safety much harder with checking fire selectors, barrel covers and heavily enforcing their “no dry fire” rules within the safe zone.
Airsoft as a game does have a lot to teach in values in ethics for those who choose to learn them. Airsoft as a political stance robs a generation of risk and pushing them closer to playing indoors, not learning anything but to play the game in front of them.