Laugh all you want, but if you’re a guy and you’ve ever played paintball, you know what I’m talking about.
Go ahead and explain to me how it glorifies bloodshed, desensitizes guys towards the violence of real war, and is just a sad part of our “male dominated, violent society.” Damn right it is. Years of violent television, action movies, videogames, and playing with plastic guns finally have some sort of purpose—without having to go out and really get my ass shot (I’ll get back to you when I’ve figured out exactly what that purpose is). Anyways, sign me up.
It all seems hilarious when you look back on it though. The way you sling your paintball gun over your shoulder after a long “firefight.” The decibels that your voice goes up as you yell, “I’ve been hit!”
It all seems perfectly natural when a teammate yells for you to “Flank left and take those red team sons-of-bitches out.” No one has to tell you what to do when a teammate yells “Covering fire!” When paintballs come whistling your way, you try to dig into the ground like your life depends on it.
At the end of the day on Saturday I found myself in a particularly brutal “firefight.” Paintballs were hitting all around me and exploding on the trees and plywood that was my cover. Somehow I walked away without taking a hit. As I walked off the field and found my friends, I wearily took off my goggles and thankfully accepted a paper towel handed to me.
As I was wiping the paint and the mud from my face, one of my friends fixed me a concerned look and asked, “Dude, your hand’s shaking…are you ok?”