Here is in this debate one of my principle complaints.
The activity of using an object to hurl a projectile to register a "hit" on an opposing player in the context of a competative game is 100% the same regarless of what you are using to hurl the projectile.
Playing " paintball" is exactly the same game as Playing "airsoft" arguing that they are different is like arguing that one glass of water is wetter than another.
The only departure is that paintballs leave a visible mark on the hit person.. wheras airsoft pellets rarely do meaning in one game the scoring is by visual observation.. in the other it is by tactile acknowledgement ( though clearly paintballs enable one to "feel their hits" better than airsoft guns )
Other than that .. its the same game .. you could play it with tennis balls if you wanted.. its essentially "tag at a distance"
Airsoft guns are markedly different .. in that they replicate real guns in form and in some ways function. which allows one to replicate the appearance real world shooters enabling more immersive simulations. Meaning "airsoft" play often takes the fofm of more structured scenarios. Though very many people like unstructured "skirmish" games that differ not at all from typical paintball games.
Personally I detest the term "airsofting" or playing "airsoft"
I prefer "tactical Simulation" or TACSIM or "military simulation" or MILSIM which is something that you really can't do with most paintball markers as they generally do not replicate the form of real weapons ( though some do )
Demographically Paintball is different than airsoft , as often children play paintball and adults participate in TACSIM or MILSIM ( though they don't always behave as adults )
ok.. that was a rant...
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