Grenade Magazine Issue 2 - Page 17

JIM ROSE - GRENADE MAG & ENOLA GAYE

For me Magfed is a return to form for paintball. Since the first days that I picked up the paintball marker the excitement for the game has slowly waned, that is not to say that I don't love the game I do, but living and working in the games industry I have become slightly cynical and one of its biggest critics.

I truly believe that a day playing paintball should be immersive, a day where you can lose yourself and forget that you run the treadmill like all the others 9-5 on a weekly basis. The game should take you to a place that etches adventure and adrenaline so deep into your memory that you bore your friends and family about it for weeks to come and that experience should be so strong, that it pulls you back for more.

I little piece of me dies when I speak with field owners and they talk about how they dress their first time customers up in red and blue masks or issue paintball markers with day glow hoppers so they can identify which team they are on. No offence to those fields, some are great customers of ours, but let it me offer my opinion on this. From the very first day that I played paintball I remember the build-up and the intense excitement that rushed around my head knowing (assuming) that I had the skills to outwit my friends deep in the forest.

My anticipation was gleefully satisfied when they offered me a KP1 Sheridan shotgun as an option over my standard issue Splatmaster, the extra money floated out of my pocket with little resistance. I was armed. When I first started playing paintball I was already playing a form of Magfed, the skill was in the hunt and taking a friend out was a potent affirmation of my bush skills.

Looking back I can't even start to imagine my horror if I was met with a game that has since been sterilised to suit the field operators over the fear that they are glorifying war. It's an unfortunate truth, but we are playing war, Airsoft plays war, kids play war, gamers play war so it's a shame to see Paintball, the original war game to be so petrified of playing war. It's no secret that with diminishing profits paintball fields want you to shoot more, so the game fields get smaller, the turn arounds quicker and the markers become bucket fed straight through the top of the gun where you would normally take aim, and that final point is what truly dispels the fantasy.

If the Magfed guns that are available now were available back when I was a paintball grom I would have probably wet my pants a little. This is fantasy, escape, sheer indulgence and in my humble opinion Magfed offers a lifeline for paintball. There are many genres of combat games where adults can take aim on each other, but for the full immersive experience you have to choose between Airsoft or Magfed Paintball, but these can be difficult to find in rental form. Some Airsoft fields are now offering rental play but if you are looking for that first time immersive experience from paintball you may find yourself hiding behind a red mask. Bring on the rental Magfed options.

Whatever your choice, get involved, respect the game and let your imagination go for the day.