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Paintball? What a joke...

So I just got back from the worst day of paintball I've experienced.

I've played a lot in the past, I've played on leagues in tournaments. The first and most expensive thing I purchased when I got a "real" job making $8.50 an hour eleven years ago was the very paintball gun that I used today. It's old, but it's reliable and was so far ahead of it's time that today the only drawback is it's shear weight and it's inefficient use of CO2-- it sucks it down more than twice as fast as a modern gun.

What was fun about today?

Fields were well designed
weather was good -- there was rain in the end but it was at the end so no big deal.
my gun operated flawlessly
referees were good

... notice that nowhere in there did I say "We had the entire field to ourselves, so there were no uber tournament team member walk-ons looking to light up a few n00bs."

Oh, we did have the field to ourselves.

The bads:

Teams incredibly mismatched. Lets see. On one team: Two people who have never played before, one rusty person (myself) who made pretty clear up front that I'm by no means any good at paintball and haven't played in years, and a few mediocre players who had great spirit and motivation but unfortunately they were a bit blind because on the other team:

The person who origanized it-- surprise surprise! He's a great player. His wife-- a law enforcement officer who demonstrated some of the best tactical maneuvers that I've ever seen in my life. A very seasoned player with clearly the longest range and most advanced paintball gun there, and a couple of other people who were very seasoned and demonstrated excellent coordination and skill, who also had very nice guns.

Hm. Seem a bit off?

Well then, no surprise that on one game it was an absolute SHUTOUT. The first game I've ever played in my life I might add, where every single member on my team was eliminated and every single member on the other team remained standing.

There were a few other bullshit aspects. The person organizing the event expressed severe distaste in my style of play, which is to hang back and snipe.

Lets see. My gun is 4' long, weighs 24 lbs when full, and has an 18" sniper barrel. Add to that the fact that my ADHD meds make it real hard for me to run without overworking my heart (something I became PAINFULLY aware of this afternoon, oif. First heavy exercise I've done on this particular med. Next time I leave it at home.)

I tried explaining this and all I caught was flack.

Ohhh.. soo fucken sorry. I guess that was the one game where that particular person got shot out.

I thought the day was going to be great, honestly. I was really looking forward to it. I sure spent a lot of money on field fees, so that I could AVOID this kind of bullshit. Everyone there, individually, are really nice people. They are all however, Galens friends, people whom I really know very little about.

Suffice to say, I'll not be playing paintball with these people again. After the event, I mentioned my misgivings to a few of Galens friends, and got a response of "Well, we made (person who coordinated the event) happy, so that's all that really matters. He wasn't having a very good time at the beginning (he ran out of paint in the first round, waahh wahhhh wahh), so that's why we adjusted the teams to be more in his favor (making a killer team into an unstoppable team). This is of course the same person who called the 20' rule when a teammate and I had cornered him behind a bush, and not more than 90 seconds later he lit us up from less than 15 feet away. Right smack in my head, too. He even later said that's the only part of me he could see, but took painstaking measures to make sure he was more than 20' away from us. Fucken -whatever- ... if I'd thrown my gun, which I can't throw far, it'd have hit him.

Galen was smart. He caught on to this and switched teams from ours to theirs. Funny that he started winning and enjoying himself immediately. Hey, I couldn't blame him. We were against unstoppable odds. The only games we won were in the beginning, and once they stole our best players, we didn't win a single game after that.

My body is a collection of bruises from where I got lit up like a christmas tree. Some of the welts are severe, the one under my hamstring is the size of a golfball and hurts to walk on it. These battlescars are normally appreciated-- I'm not a picky player! Because I know I suck, I walk on with very low expectations in a given game. I go out, I snipe, I have fun. Normally the referees prevent this type of bullshit from happening. But with a private group where we're making our own teams, I think all they could do was sit back and laugh.

As an aside, I found a tick in my wrist upon showering this evening. Joy.

I hate to bash some really nice people. The wife of the one who coorinated the event even made us sandwhiches. Overall, they're very cool people. There just seems... to be something a bit off. Maybe the drive to win is too high. Maybe they're just not understanding. Maybe they were having a bad day. Ohwell. You don't do this shit to people who have never played before. I mean, come on. One of the guys who hasn't played before was the FATHER of the freakin guy who coordinated the event!

I can't believe we lost with an absolute shutout. "Friendly competition" my ass! If I were on the winning team, I'd be handing out apologies and making immediate changes to the team variety. That's horrible. Against a team with two new guys who have never even picked up a paintball gun before? ... I'd say there's an absence of malice, but it's either a gross mistake or a clear display of it.

- Keman


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC)
Mmmph. Yeah, that's a bad situation no matter what the game is. I'm sorry you had to go through that.
May. 31st, 2005 04:35 am (UTC)
Yeah. I'm so beyond in pain right now that I can't sleep. Sux 2 b me.

I did however learn an interesting aspect. Turns out the person who coordinated the event? Yeah, him and his dad .. apparently have this whole extremely-ultra-competitive thing going between them. Looks like I got caught up between it. What a joke.

- Keman
May. 31st, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC)
That's not what I said. Please stop taking things I say and blowing them up and taking them out of context.
May. 31st, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
Fine, I take back what I said about the whole father/son ultra-compeitive aspect.

Just let it be known that the person who organized the event put his dad who had never played before onto the opposite team as him, along with the other people who have never played before. And based on the frag-fest, it's pretty obvious there weren't any handicaps applied.

- Keman
May. 31st, 2005 01:33 am (UTC)
I've experienced a few situations lately where people seem to only enjoy something(hobby, game, whatever) if they are winning/better then the others around them. If I were that good at paint ball, would I find any challenge in completly stomping a team of n00bs? No. This leads one to believe that A., these people are ecocentric nut jobs that need to win to better their low self esteem, and B. They probably arent really good at painball, only mediocre, hence putting together unbalanced teams to win. :)
May. 31st, 2005 04:43 am (UTC)
This is true likely on both accounts. See my above discovery to the person who organized the event and his dad.

I said I've played a lot of paintball in my life, and I have. And the type of people you describe come en-masse to this sort of game. If you're "better" than someone in this game, not only do you win, you dish out a shitload of pain into your opponant, and if you squeeze off a few extra rounds "before noticing that they're calling themselves out" to send em home with a few extra bruises, noones the wiser. Thems the breaks of the game no pun intended.

I've had my own good friends demonstrate this behavior. The only time they're having fun is if they're winning.

This is what is known as being a /sore loser/ ... and while I might be sore as fuck right now, I certainly know how to lose and still have fun in this game.

What got me out of paintball a while back, was running into people who didn't have a good time unless you didn't have fun. Forget winning. It was one step beyond. And that's just not a game where I'm stepping foot out onto a field with them holding projectile guns aimed at me with that goal in mind.

This came precariously close to that. But in a buddy-buddy ha-ha-ha-we're-friends sorta way. I watched a lot of people with downcast eyes that just weren't voicing their opinions today.

This was not good sportsmanship in any way shape or form. I'll bet some of them think they are, and some of them actually feel they're considerate of other peoples feelings.

- Keman
May. 31st, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
Just a thought...
if things were this mismatched, why did you continue to go out on the feild? One would think that if your team felt the same way you did, simply refusing to play until the teams were balanced would have made rather short work of this. Can't exactly play with only one team. And no point in playing if there isn't a remote chance that you may win :P

anyhow :) it's all 20/20 hind sight at this point.
May. 31st, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC)
This is a good demonstration of the whole 20/20 thing.

I was just being rather oblivious and since I don't put a lot of weight in "winning" .. I didn't notice the fact that we were always losing. Plus it's the whole pack mentality, of .. just.. peer pressure.

I think I just kept being positive and hopeful that things would solve themselves.

We _were_ just a bunch of friends, even if I didn't know them very well.

That was really the problem. The "scrutinize fairness" bit had not been set. And right next to it "detect egotistical gameplay" was also disabled.

Fool me once...

- Keman
(Deleted comment)
May. 31st, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
Re: :(
Rest assured, I've gone over my post countless times to make sure that it wasn't written in haste. I still stand behind what I wrote. I want to believe there was no malice. But I also know what sort of bullshit competition that can develop and just what that is capable of manifesting itself into as a result of it sometimes. I certainly don't believe there was any from the start of the day.

Steve was the one coordinating the event. There's no point to me hiding names, I was just leaving them out because I didn't feel like getting into those kind of details.

They had a really good time playing with me????

You mean they appreciated me dishing out money to be a moving target for the day.

It certainly couldn't be appreciation for my gameplay, because Steve flat out voiced his irritation at how I played several times, even when I tried explaining to him why I played the way I did. His insulting comment that I should "go push some cows" was uncalled for, and right from the very first game in 20/20 hindsight I should have known it was going to be a shitty day when he started bitching that "whoever was going WOOHOO that they shot me should shut up because they didn't get me out, I called myself out because I ran out of ammo" ... it was me who said "Woohoo" ... and during that time, for the briefest of moments, I felt like we were working as a team and I was having fun at making my first kill. I certainly don't make many. I think yesterday I took a grand total of 3 people out the whole day. Imagine how shot-down I felt upon hearing that. In comparison I think Miller killed me more times than that with his uber long range gun which I'm sure Steve didn't mind having on his team. Doesn't sound like the Steve you know perhaps? I was there. I discussed this crap with Steves friends afterwards. I didn't get much for a reason as to why this went on other than "steve can be that way" ... *eyeroll*


I don't think anyone will contest that the teams were very uneven.

But it would seem that noone cared enough to say much about it if they think it was fun playing with me and had a good time.

At the time, since noone else was saying anything about it I felt with a lack of experience playing with me, I'd just come across as a whiner to Steve. ie: Last time it was the bee's that kept me away, this time it's the game play.

I really don't want to deal with this shit. If people want to play and get lit up like a christmas tree and have one team putting together great tactics while the other team has n00bs that have never played before, with teammates who DONT EVEN KNOW WHO THE TEAM LEADER WAS (and didn't throughout the day!)... by all means. Knock yerselves out!

Of course, lets see. 6 players per team. Two never played before, can't really expect them to understand what was going on. There was me, but I felt a little intimidated to speak up. That leaves three others. Whom based on the conversation afterwards in the car, were more concerned with making sure Steve had a good time than their own.

That doesn't really leave anyone to speak up a voice of dissent, now does it?

Maybe "teh winnarz" after the 6-0 shutout coulda shown a little understanding and said "we should re-think this team layout" but I suppose they were having too much fun kicking our asses to want to change a thing.

Sound kinda cruel? People often are, unknowingly even, when it comes to competition.

- Keman
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 1st, 2005 12:16 am (UTC)
Re: :(
I cannot fault anyone for their flaws. I'm certainly full of them. I can't exactly /fault/ someone for mistakes, but I also don't operate in a vacuum so if my posts on here sound angry, it's because I'm not willing to turn a blind eye to actions that, while not to Galen, are committed by absolute TOTAL strangers to me. I know Steve's name. I know miller's last name. I know Tom's name. I know doug's name. That's it. Everyone elses name I've not even had the chance to remember. There were times during the game even, where I wanted to call out to someone, but couldn't even remember their name to shout it.

That's really what is at issue here. There'a bunch of friends and I'm an absolute stranger to them all. You cut certain breaks for strangers, welcome as they initially tried to be-- that all got lost once the game was underway. For example, they mentioned how they once lit up Miller's /hands/ when he was trying to call himself out at a prior paintball get-together. Hey, they know Miller, they've played hockey with him and countless other sports from what I've garnered. Guess what? Had they done that to me as a stranger, I'da walked up to them and decked them. But hey- that's me, and they don't know me, so there's that extra level of precaution which should be taken, but wasn't. There's a form of contempt here which has occured, and I doubt anyone much realizes it's happened. But the after-effects don't hurt any less-- pun intended in this case.

- Keman
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 1st, 2005 06:54 am (UTC)
Re: :(
Cindy, I'm flattered that you're so interested in being my friend. Galen speaks highly of you and I've certainly found your artwork stunning. For this reason I'll skip the short version and give you an explanation. Treat me as you would a wolf. You'll never go wrong, doesn't matter what the topic is. I can go on and on trying to explain the different causes, but there's really no point since the end result is the same. It's difficult for me to make friends. There's packmates, and then there's everyone else. It's a pretty closed minded view of the world-- and, while I know you've seen me "open up" with large groups of people, trust me when I say that is a skill I've learned over time and isn't really me being myself. 99% of the time it's just me parroting back tactics and lines that I've picked up other people saying. Because of this, socializing with people is a conscious effort, and a drain on my energy levels. For these reasons I generally consider Galen to be my "social planner" ... and I let him sort out the things that I can probably handle and the ones that I can't. Wolves can be fun to watch, but interacting with them and getting them to do what you want them to requires a lot of patience. Moreso than Galen even has sometimes. :P

- Keman
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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