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January 15, 2003 12:04 PM   Subscribe

William Shatner's SpplatAttack was one of the biggest paintball events in 2002. There were a couple of other mefi threads on it earlier last year [here and here]. In December Shatner released a DVD of the event. Maurice Gibb, who died just the other day, owned a paintball shop and other celebs like Tommy Lee are rumored to be huge paintball fans. Is this the next extreme sport? How many mefi'ers play?
posted by billman (38 comments total)

 
I play. I keep my gun in one of those steel tool cases from Home Depot, lined in foam. Makes me look like I have a big penis. MeFi paintball gathering Atlanta, who wants in?
posted by Stan Chin at 12:12 PM on January 15, 2003


I play. I love paintball, the last time I played I was called the "Bombay bomber". Stan count me in! I'll take the bus if I have to.
posted by riffola at 12:16 PM on January 15, 2003


I played for the first time fairly recently in a very small indoor venue with big inflatable barricades. It was 3 versus 3 - short assault-style matches probably lasting 60-120 seconds a pop. Even with the gun pressure turned down you knew the next painful hit was just around the corner which makes for a pretty manic sensation. I'd love to try a larger outdoor venue with more strategy.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and one of the chaps at the venue gave us his card with his web address, which has several paintball videos from competitions held at that, and other venues.

Paintball's been about too long to be the next extreme sport, though, hasn't it? Didn't the first Timothy Dalton Bond film (er, A View to a Kill?) start with a paintball sequence?
posted by nthdegx at 12:20 PM on January 15, 2003


Tried it a few times, but it's unsatisfying because of poor range and accuracy. It's no fun putting on a mask and a ghillie suit and lying motionless in a 90-degree-F sun for two hours to try to snipe somebody when a well-thrown rock goes farther (and sometimes straighter) than yer average painball.

When they make paintball guns that can safely and reliably reach out and touch someone at ~ a hundred yards, call me.
posted by alumshubby at 12:22 PM on January 15, 2003


Heey - something Im pretty familar with :-)

I've been playing a long long time :-)
Currently play with team "I Have No Idea" (yes we are the guys with the Cww print Jerseys) and Captain the Palmer's Owner's group team at the IAO every year.
(I'd self-link, but.. nah... you can find the team site in my profile)

ANyways - THe Shatner game was interesting - him and his wife really got into it, he was't just sitting in the back, he was actually playing the front line, and sending his wife (with the big SHATNER on her back) into the firefights as a decoy.

As for Gibb... he is probably the biggest loss for paintball in a long time. He was very very into the sport, and loved playing. He had been trying to use his "status" as a quasi-celeb to bring paintball into the mainstream more - and to wit was putting together a tournament to try and work the "Gibb" angle.

There are a lot of celebs that play in varying degress of seriousness... up to Rick Schroder being on one of the very first Tournament teams ever along with Dave Youngblood (of DYE Paintball).
posted by niteHawk at 12:25 PM on January 15, 2003


I play. I had two Shockers (recently sold) but I still own a Tippmann Model 98. It's an expensive hobby if you're a tinkerer but the adrenaline rush at the start of a game is so exhilarating!
posted by black8 at 12:27 PM on January 15, 2003


Hey Alums... Im with ya in the woods being boring... look at what paintball has become lately....

Faster, no "hiding" and out of the woods... http://www.warpig.com/paintball/tournament/nppl/2002/worldcup/galleryk/index.shtml

and I do agree... it's been around too long to be the "next" extreme sport.. it is however like the 3rd most popular behind snowboarding... the problem is that it's frankly BORING to watch unless you are a player already.. there is some new types of games out ther (X-Ball) that may help draw spectators in, but until somone finds that "magic" format.. it'll never be shown on TV, etc...
posted by niteHawk at 12:29 PM on January 15, 2003


Whatever happened to Assassin? Is it still played on college campuses, usually with squirt guns? Anyone ever play? Loads-o-fun (and 24-hr paranoia).
posted by Shane at 12:31 PM on January 15, 2003


ShatnerFilter!
posted by mcwetboy at 12:34 PM on January 15, 2003


after i died (having dinner with my assassin) i still carried my spoon around (to pretend i was alive) and hinted that i was my roommate's assassin. he believed me and consequently let his guard down when i wasn't around. sucker!

also i loved getting my shorts-wearing-ass kicked by so-hard-to-hit thirteen year olds in paintball, GLORIOUS DAY :D
posted by kliuless at 12:42 PM on January 15, 2003


I used to play a lot in Jr. High and High School. I graduated in '92, so it was a LONG time ago. They didn't have the fancy semi-auto guns back then, you had to cock the gun between each shot. man it was a lot of fun. I should play again sometime
posted by maceo at 12:42 PM on January 15, 2003


As for Gibb... he is probably the biggest loss for paintball in a long time. He was very very into the sport, and loved playing. He had been trying to use his "status" as a quasi-celeb to bring paintball into the mainstream more - and to wit was putting together a tournament to try and work the "Gibb" angle.


OK, that's probably the most surreal paragraph I've read in a loooooong time. I don't even know where to begin...
posted by mkultra at 12:43 PM on January 15, 2003


What's the little mask-looking thingie on top of the guns?
posted by gottabefunky at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2003


gottabefunky, it holds the paint balls, and loads them into the gun.
posted by maceo at 1:01 PM on January 15, 2003


Oh, man. Paintball is such a rush. I first platey nearly 15 years ago (cripes!) when all we had was a Splatmaster pistol that held a tube of 10 rounds and was powered by a 12-gram C02 cartridge, and had nothing but shop goggles (!) to protect our eyes.

Best guns I had were an F2 Illustrator semi-auto and a pump-action Tippmann SL-68 (?). Never got into the 20-rounds-per-minute-compressed-air suped-up guns players use these days.
posted by DakotaPaul at 1:02 PM on January 15, 2003


other celebs like Tommy Lee are rumored to be huge paintball fans.

Somehow it doesn't at all surprise me that celebrities are interested in hunting and shooting other human beings with impunity.
posted by me3dia at 1:13 PM on January 15, 2003


My brother created a private range on his acreage (too much money and too much time on his hands). We get together every couple of months and let it rip. I don't care about the game very much, just shooting at my little brother. I assume we have some unresolved issues...
posted by Coop at 1:18 PM on January 15, 2003


Whatever happened to Assassin? Is it still played on college campuses, usually with squirt guns? Anyone ever play? Loads-o-fun (and 24-hr paranoia).

But of course! I know the guys in one of the scholarship dorms on my campus all had a big game of it.

I've played too. Got killed in a mass homicide when my boyfriend's assassin had to kill everyone in the house so there'd be no live witnesses.
posted by katieinshoes at 1:32 PM on January 15, 2003


Tommy Lee's a fan? Say no more, I'm there.
posted by sharksandwich at 1:47 PM on January 15, 2003


I'm guessing the extra "p" was because they misregistered the domain name and were stuck with it...
posted by oissubke at 2:16 PM on January 15, 2003


As an avid FPS player, you would have thought I'd like paintball, but 2 factors have put me off trying. The first is the cost - at around £100 for a days worth, its not cheap, and second of all, whenever my friends come back from playing it the come back covered in bruises and in not inconsiderable pain. Doesn't sound like that much fun to me..
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:43 PM on January 15, 2003


Orange - still, try it out once. I play on something of an annual basis - get a bunch of friends together, all rent the same gun, etc. Being in a big bunch of amateurs hammering away at each other is alot of fun. Sure you get bruised, but I've never been limping about afterwords or anything.

Basically, yes, it's an adrenaline thing. The pain is what makes it fun. You don't wanna get hit, so you're sneaking around, trying to flank people, trying to keep their head down with sheer number of paintballs, etc.
posted by kavasa at 4:13 PM on January 15, 2003


I play here too. Actually, it's funny how many people play or have played if you ask them. I was talking about going out this past weekend (I play woods ball every other week with some friends... I'm not any good, but I get the occasional kill...) ... and this cute little brainless-looking gal that was at the party with her fratboy boyfriend suddenly piped up and asked if she could tag along...

As for gun accuracy, check out an AutoCocker. The. Most. Accurate gun I have ever borrowed. I was 1 on 1 at the end of a game with a pro who was using the same gun, and he won by popping me through a two-inch-diameter hole. At fifty feet. With one shot; so it wasn't a shotgun-attack. Frickin' amazing.
posted by SpecialK at 4:26 PM on January 15, 2003


As for gun accuracy, check out an AutoCocker.

I second that, SpecialK. My cousin had a sweet mini Cocker that I swear could peg a flea off a pig's back at 20 yards.

Guns are much more accurate than they used to be.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:43 PM on January 15, 2003


I've seriously considered buying a $500+ gun, but I've learned to love and create a sybiotic relationship with my piddly $200 Semi-Auto. I've learned not to rely on accuracy, but instead I've mastered the art of getting within 20 feet of a target, then taking my shot.

I used to accomplish this by using evasive manuevers (i.e.: running like hell), but now I love crawling on the ground, waiting in a hole for 30 minutes, just waiting for my chance to sneak up on just one guy. I live for it, there's no better rush when you're waist deep in some creek while you can hear the other team run across two feet away from you, supressing the urge to reveal yourself, then slowly trailing them until the right moment.

They used to call me "Snake" actually.
posted by Stan Chin at 4:52 PM on January 15, 2003


I'd play--I actually like pain in competitive sports, so the bruises sound like a blast--but I could be on the field by myself and it would still be a target-rich environment. At 6'5" and 300 lbs., stealth isn't really my bag, and everyone knows in an all-out assault "kill the big guy first" usually applies.

Sigh.

When they invent the paintball light tank or paintball artillery, I'm in.

Or like ... paintCLUB and paintROCK. I've always wanted to try caveman style mock-combat with a team of my friends (probably because of my size).
posted by KiloHeavy at 5:35 PM on January 15, 2003


For those who want to take it step further (or backwards depending on your view) there is air soft.
posted by wirk at 6:01 PM on January 15, 2003


Assassin was alive and well in 1985. It took me all night three times to wait out in the rain/dark/cold etc. to snipe the first three people in my li'l slice of heaven, and I'd have bagged a fourth if one of them hadn't talked -- I got stalked and nailed by somebody else using nearly the same tactic.

Come to think of it, playing paintball, you get to tag people by hand. Including waiting neck-deep in a creek beneath an overhang that has a trail running along it, when snotty rude asshole SEAL-wannabee teenagers come trotting down the path and you get to Creature-From-The-Black-Lagoon it up out of the water to baptize the tail-end Charlie and machine-gun the rest of 'em when they turn around to see what the screaming and splashing are about. Hooyah!

The one time I got my wife to come play with us, I didn't realize it was her on an opposing team and I nearly broke her nose when I tagged her a little too enthusiastically on top of her mask visor. She knew it was me, though, and while I stood there with her screaming bloody murder at me, three or four guys gleefully stitched my back and ass.
posted by alumshubby at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2003


I haven't played in years, but I"ve been begging the next NYC MeFi Meetup to incorporate the use of projectile paint for quite some time now.
posted by adampsyche at 7:41 PM on January 15, 2003


I have been playing for a few months. After the first time, I was hooked. It's a rush, especially the smaller faster fields and the ones that contain buildings or castles. Now, I have successfully recruited and organized a couple of trips into the Georgia woods with a mess of programmers and whatnot from my current contract site. Virtually everyone who has come out and played with us has come back for more. According to the most recent issue of Wired, there are more people playing paintball every year than there are people snowboarding. I'm hoping to invest in my own marker in the next couple of months. If anyone here is from Georgia, feel free to drop me a line, we've got about thirty people playing on Feb. 1.
posted by bump at 7:43 PM on January 15, 2003


adampsyche, if you know a place in NYC that'll let us play paintball, I'll be there in a heartbeat.
posted by riffola at 8:02 PM on January 15, 2003


I've been playing since the mid 90s. The game has always had the perfect balance between novice weekend warriors and tournament class players. It's a sport that welcomes paintball vets/hobbyists and embraces newbies. The game never seems to lose its allure and I think that's its finest aspect. I mostly play at a big outdoor venue here in So Cal called SC Village. I also like to go to a nearby indoor place called Impact Zone. Anyone familiar with either?
posted by LexRockhard at 8:53 PM on January 15, 2003


nthdegx: The first 007 with Timothy Dalton was the next one, The Living Daylights; and its pre-credit sequence is about a military exercise on Gibraltar using the MI-6 Double-Oh section armed with splatguns. Alas, the villains have inserted an assassin who is armed with something more lethal.

I would have to class the fact that this game took place in Joliet, Illinois, an hour south of Chicago as one of the more poignant regrets of my lifetime.
posted by dhartung at 9:02 PM on January 15, 2003


Cool, kliuless, katie, alum--we have assassin fans here too. Assassin can't be beat for the paranoia it produces in your otherwise humdrum life.

Assassin was alive and well in 1985. It took me all night three times to wait out in the rain/dark/cold etc.

Hah! I did that too! Staked out a fellow from 9:00 pm to 7:30 am. He thought he was safe, locked in a campus music practice room. He was safe--from anyone sane. I had frost in my beard when I finally got him (no beard anymore, though).

Once, in 1985 also, a person I knew was in an Assassin game with amorphous rules. He was in a room full of communal campus Macs and he actually "hacked" into his target's computer and flashed a graphic that said "BOOM! You're dead!" Brilliant. Wish I knew how he did it.

I'd play--I actually like pain in competitive sports, so the bruises sound like a blast...

Yeah, well, sooner or later someone will combine rugby and paintball, and we'll be all set.
posted by Shane at 7:47 AM on January 16, 2003


Some guys I work with and extended friends have played a few group games of 15-20 guys in Leesburg, VA. Our rule is this: No ringers. We use the rental guns, which kind of suck, but the advantage is that it's a level playing field. We have a blast. People seem to turn games/hobbies like this into who has the newest, best toys. I have better things to spend a G on than a paintball gun (like girls I want to sleep with).
posted by uftheory at 8:05 AM on January 16, 2003


Tried it a few times, but it's unsatisfying because of poor range and accuracy.

Try Airsoft -- it's big in Asia and still slowly growing here.

Problems with it in the US: the guns can be very realistic (which is kinda what makes it cool but causes import difficulties and possible problems if you play it in the wrong place), and it relies on honest sportsmanship (you have to yell HIT when you get hit because there's no paint).

But damn, it's fun stuff. If I was in better shape I'd still be doing it regularly.
posted by Foosnark at 8:43 AM on January 16, 2003


My local Star Trek club figured Shattner's ripping us off.

We've been doing Star Trek Paintball games twice a year for years now.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:25 AM on January 16, 2003


Wow, what a coincidence, I just bought my first paintball gun two days ago. Autococker in fact. More people than I ever imagined play, and while I was in the shop getting geared up, a police officer came to grab his stuff. Seems that he's wildly enthused about the game since he discovered it a year ago and is trying to convince his coworkers to get in on the action and field a team. I look forward to my first match.

As for assassin, I played it for the first time last year in my Nuclear Power School class. Got capped in the back while jogging. *grumble*
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:39 AM on January 17, 2003


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