Though through different circumstances and life timelines, I would have to agree with HackD.
I would love to enjoy the same level of play as Group 4, but the game never becomes more than a game. I don't ever want it to be more than a game.
I played Football and loved it. I would absolutely thrive in an Airsoft team that
approached our game with the same level of intensity and drive as in sport.
I worry, however, that as partakers in a protected niche activity that sometimes we look for like-minded individuals down to the laces when selecting team-mates and competitors before recognizing that as Airsoft enthusiasts we are all like-minded.
Milsim is Milsim and casual is casual and ne'er the two shall meet.
Well I think that's horseshit.
I see lots of threads about politics and who's gear is better and what combination thereof deserves respect.
I see threads about cheating and field decorum and go out to games and see players expecting the worst out of each-other.
Serious or not, I think the community needs a shakeup.
I played years of Paintball. By fortune and character I managed to be picked up by a 'Country Club' of sorts, comprised of dedicated and experienced individuals (most of whome were at least 10 years older than me at the time).
They could find few decent adults to play with because their sport had branched into supporting the lowest common denominator over the concerned veteran, in favor of profits.
Does Airsoft want to become Paintball?
As far as I can tell, absolutely not.
But it is, and it will, as long as community leaders retain a policy of prejudice and isolationism.
Whether it seems like fun or not, the de-facto Patriarchs of Airsoft have to step up and advertise their way of play or they will lose control of the majority.
They have to be open and accommodating or there will be no base to draw from.
Groups 4 and 3 will die if they do not have a positive place and presence in 1 and 2.