Remember that old Frost Report sketch with Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett and John Cleese about the British class system?
It elegantly made the point that we like to have someone to look down on. Especially when there’s someone looking down on us.
It’s like that with airsoft. Rightly or wrongly, we look down on paintball for its lack of ‘realism’. But who looks down on airsoft? Apart of course from every serving member of every army in the world. Including, probably, the Salvation Army.
I think I’ve found some hobbyists who have every right to look down on us. They’re the Russian lunatics who play what they call ‘Hardball’. (Of course, the Scandinavians call airsoft ‘Hardball’, but this is different. Way different.)
Instead of our puny AEGs and Green Gas guns, these guys use high-powered CO2 weapons that shoot lead bbs. It’s kind of like playing war with full-power air rifles. Of course, the players wear some serious protective clothing and probably anaesthetise themselves with vodka before the game. All the same, I reckon they’re packing balls of lead in every sense.
The pyros are pretty hardcore too, as you can see in this news report from Russian TV. Not to mention the women. I wouldn’t want to go up against the girl at 2.15 without some serious artillery support.
Despite the end of the cold war, the rivalry between Russia and the US of A persists. So not to be outdone, a bunch of moonshinin’ good ol’ boys from somewhere very rural have invented a similar ‘Hardsoft’ sport involving handheld mortars and a bb gun that seems to run off the national grid.
Just listen to the squeals of the victim and the cheers of the attackers. The whole thing looks idiotic, puerile and downright dangerous. I love it.