Well then. We strive for simulation, usually, rather than competition. I've played paintball many times before, and it is far less fun, intense, and competitive than airsoft. Paintball is just run 'n gun, bang bang bang the drum shooting up. No rhyme or reason (obviously you'll claim there to be, but the tactics are simple). Airsoft is often about using real strategy and planning out attacks and defences of large scale, large playing area matches.
And it is much more expensive of a hobby (not including ammunition). Airsoft gear, if you want a real, quality, accurate loadout, is way more expensive than red, blue, and yellow anodized guns that look like they're from space, and wearing brightly coloured clothes to blend in with the brightly coloured inflatable "cover".
Paintball is just more recognized because its been around for longer and is more acceptable to the public since the guns don't look real and the people dress in what look like team uniforms.
Airsoft is less acceptable because we look real, and scary to most people.
I love freedom and consequently America