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Airsoft: The Niche Team Sport that Makes Waves

29th July 2020 Print
military gaming

Airsoft showed up as a need to reduce gun use in Japan (in the 1970s) without prohibiting the act of shooting. As such, a new industry was born and people were taken by this MilSim activity that’s extremely entertaining and educational. 

In our times, airsoft is held in high regard by millennials and younger generations, but it’s also appealing to the more seasoned among us. According to most players, the main attraction of the game is the experience it offers. Since it is a military simulation, with realistic-looking guns and tactical scenarios, players get to escape reality for a bit and enjoy a different world. It’s like playing a video game that allows you a full immersion, or like being on a Holodeck (for the Start Trek fans out there).

While you won’t be able to create your own scenario (usually the scenario is pre-determined by the organizers), you still get to enjoy having a few good hours of fun with friends and try a new world. It’s also a game that engages various areas of the brain and keeps you active, while the adrenaline levels remain high. 

Airsoft’s Increasing Popularity

The global market for airsoft guns was valued at around US$1.5 Billion in 2018 and, according to a MarketSearchEngine report, it is expected to grow by US$ 1.9 Billion by the end of 2024. Of course, these numbers may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but people continue to need an outlet for all the negative feelings that keep piling up (especially during 2020!). 

Now that we know airsoft is here to stay, let’s have a quick look at why it got so popular. We already covered the experience factor, but there won’t be much of an experience without the realistic guns, the cool-looking gear, and the fantastic community. 

The Gear 

According to Airsoft Pal, the gear is the most important item in an airsofter’s toolkit (besides the gun). That’s because you need protection and tactical equipment to feel at ease on the simulated battlefield. 

Just try to imagine how uncomfortable (not to mention painful) it would be to have BBs fast-flying hitting your face ears, teeth (yes, it happens), hands, and other sensitive areas of your body! BBs may only be 6mm in diameter, but, at high speeds, they hurt!

As such, every player needs minimal protection gear (full-face mask, goggles, vest, and clothing) and tactical gear (backpacks, belts, holsters, and more). Not to mention that, if you’re fully equipped, you will look like a badass. 

The Guns

Airsoft weapons are closer and closer to real steel designs due to modern materials and manufacturing techniques. As such, players can enjoy the feel of a metallic body and get to hear the sound of a metallic gearbox. 

Furthermore, the reloading process is more realistic and some guns have great cocking mechanisms. Overall, the MilSim experience is fully supported by the wide diversity of gun replicas that get more realistic and powerful. 

The Community

Lastly, the third element that makes this game so popular is the community. Airsoft players are (usually) friendly and generous, and they accept newcomers with open arms. They are also eager to continue the friendship outside the field. 

In addition, the community is also available online, and anyone can ask for advice, recommendations, and more from experienced players. 

Overall, airsoft may be the right type of entertainment everyone needs (at least once in a while). The experience lets you improve skills, keeps you active, and allows you to bond with a wide range of people. 

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military gaming