"Paintball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It
now rivals golf in its appeal to the younger generation."
Zone Paintball Internet Magazine
If the technologies for laser
tag and paintball had existed earlier in the century, these
games may have grown to the popularity of football or
baseball. All sports seem to share things in common with war
play, and it is not uncommon to hear suggestions that sports are a
form of warfare subliminated.
Wars and sporting events both feature teams or individual
competitors attempting to use strategy and physical force to
conquer territory and achieve objectives. Sporting teams defend
the honor of their geographic territories in much the same way
that armies defend their nations. Recent concerns over
seem to underscore this connection.
Yet if football seems to resemble warfare,
physical wargames like paintball and laser tag imitate war
directly. In the past, no affordable technology allowed
people to shoot one another without suffering serious
consequences. With the advent of compressed-air pellet guns
and infrared activated harnesses, this hurdle has been
overcome. The popularity of these games confirms the insight
already demonstrated by first-person shooter computer games and
other popular media: many people find simulated violence
The obvious difference between physical wargames
and other wargames is the fact that physical wargames generally
require and reward physical exertion--an element that is never
required in other genres. To some extent, this means that
the strategic aspect of physical wargaming is often de-emphasized,
though some tactical
considerations clearly do exist.
Previous Page | Site
Map | About the Site
See, e.g., Omar Kureishi, "Oh! Calcutta", Dawn, March 1,
1999, at <http://www.dawn.com/daily/19990301/op.htm>.