The world is full of activities biding to take up our free time, but some are inevitably more appealing than others. Two examples are paintball, the exciting sport that grips almost everyone who takes part, and video games, a near unlimited source of entertainment that gets better every year.
While some video games cover the first-person shooter genre, do they provide an experience even close to the real thing? Some of the details are used purely for entertainment, with futuristic, fantasy or historical settings to fit the player. Even details like blood and injury are dramatised in these games.
You don’t get the same rush, however, from holding your own paintball gun or taking cover to reload in the middle of a game. That breathless excitement is hard to replicate in front of a screen.
Both paintball and video games have a lot to offer, but which is better?
The Rise Of Video Games
Over recent decades, the video game industry has seen a remarkable rise - that much is obvious. From the earliest video game consoles to modern systems, the improvements in graphics, gameplay, storytelling and accessibility are obvious with a quick Google search.
More people own some kind of gaming device than ever before. While they might be more expensive, with consoles, PCs, mobile devices, there are options to suit everyone. It’s obvious why this appeals to a larger market.
The bigger question is, what about video games draws people in?
Countless Stories And Experiences
One of the big lures of video games is just how much is out there, going back decades with the right gaming system or programs. As a new form of storytelling, these games offer an interactive experience that books, TV and film can’t match. Some are better than others, but the sheer number to try means you’re more than likely to find something you like.
Whether it’s an original adventure or based on a franchise you already know, there are different takes on something to try, new controls to master and achievements to unlock. This is just scratching the surface, but when a video game grips you, it’s hard to stop playing.
It’s Easy To Try New Things
Another thing video games do well is make it easy to try new things. Whether it’s new genres or types of games, you can give them a shot with minimal effort. From trying sports-based games to mysteries, for example, as both require different ways of thinking and skills to complete. Games have made it easier to test ourselves and find new challenges we enjoy.
There are learning opportunities, too, whether that’s critical thinking, planning, research or more - there are games that do it all. Some video games involve real world involvement, whether working or reaching certain locations. As technology improves, it’s impossible not to wonder where it might go in the future.
It’s More Accessible Than Ever
With so many devices and platforms, video games are more accessible than ever - and are constantly becoming easier to get involved with. The devices themselves provide opportunities for people to find one that suits their lifestyle, budget or preferred gaming experience, while custom controls mean more people can play games they couldn’t before.
With something so mainstream and accessible, it’s no wonder so many people spend at least some of their time on a video game. It could be to pass the time on a journey or while waiting for a bus, as well as something they want to invest hours in for a full story or experience.
The Competitive Edge
While gaming is fun for many people, many genres have video games that people play competitively - whether privately or through official competition. It takes a lot of skill even to just participate, but the best players often have custom setups to reflect the games they play. Racing game competitors, for example, will have special chairs, and steering wheels over regular controllers.
While once sneered at, esports has risen to become a popular source of entertainment. Lockdowns have shown they have value, even compared to their real life counterparts, and while the skills are different, they have been learned and earned.
The Thrill Of Paintball
So, what is it that sets paintball apart? Why should you move from your warm home and comfy chair with its endless hours of gameplay and storytelling for paintball?
For the thrill, of course. Paintball has a lot of things going for it, and while you might find some kind of replacement for parts in video games, they won’t measure up to the real thing. In paintball, a lot of things come together to make a truly unique and special experience every time you step into the arena.
Here are just a few of the things you can expect from any paintball game.
Paintball Games Are Exciting
The first thing to know about paintball games is that they are fast-paced, exciting matches that will leave you breathless. It’s easy for plans and tactics to fall apart early on as chaos runs free. While that might sound like a negative, you’ll soon find yourself caught in the moment, reacting to others and pushing ahead as your team regroups.
Especially for new players, this is a natural stage. With experience, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, but the great thing about paintball is that there’s no way to predict it completely, so you’re going to have to face the unknown and do your best to succeed. What’s more exciting than that?
It’s Good Exercise
Exercise can fall down our list of priorities very easily - especially when there are more important or fun things to do. Paintball can be a great form of exercise, as in every game you’ll be running from cover to cover, reaching goals and pressing forward to win the game. While it might be short bursts more than long stints, this all adds up and you’ll notice the exhaustion by the end of the match.
Regular paintball games will get easier in time as you get used to the demands the sport requires. Despite that, you’ll find yourself hooked and wanting to do better.
You’ll Gain Confidence And New Skills
It’s normal to be unsure of new things until you get used to them, but you’ll find paintball an easy sport to get involved in. Most players are friendly and happy to help you find your feet. Everyone has the same end goal; to have fun - although this is easier if you win, too.
Paintball requires you think things through differently, and practise different skills you might not have needed before. Problem solving, precision, noticing details and planning and tactics can all be improved, and the lessons you learn can be used in other parts of your life, too. You’ll also improve your teamwork and communication skills, which can be very important at times.
Competitive Paintball Is Unlike Anything Else
While video games have a competitive scene, so does paintball - and it’s a step up from any game you might experience as a casual player. There are local leagues as well as national and international competitions. Some players become global stars, and they have put a lot of time, energy and effort into being the best.
These players and teams can also teach a lot of other players about skills, tactics and approaches to paintball games. Once you’ve got a handle on how paintball games work, it’s never a bad idea to look into what the pros do - especially if you decide its a path you’d like to follow one day.
Is Paintball Better Than Video Games?
In the end, personal choice might make the decision for people, but for us, paintball wins hands down. Video games do have their merit, and we’re not saying we don’t enjoy playing them ourselves at times, but the thrill from being in the arena is something a computer game just cannot match.
Buttons on a controller are different from holding a paintball gun, and you’re not protected by a screen when paintballs are flying at you. The adrenaline rush is real, and that thrill is what keeps players coming back again and again. You can take cover in a video game or in the arena and we promise you, the second option is a very different experience - one you won’t forget any time soon.
Getting Started With Paintball
If you’re interested in giving paintball a go, whether you have a group of friends interested or not, the easiest way is to get in touch with your local paintball arena and see what they can do. While some will cater to groups and organised events, others will have days where players can turn up and get involved.Get started with this great guide on paintball and everything you need to know to get started. You can also get in touch with the team at Modern Combat Sports with any questions, and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.