Monday, October 20, 2008

Defining the Game

Decided the last post was too much of a downer to skip out on for the rest of the week. Chances are I won't post during Cup but I will have a computer with me just in case I change my mind or something good comes up.

I'm frequently amused by the ongoing "debate" over what is the superior format as it usually devolves into robots vs. ninjas. You know, Xball versus 7-man from the proponents of 7-man. The Xball side usually musters the effective rebuttal, "Is not." And so it goes.
I'm not interested in arguing the relative merits of the formats, so I won't. But I do have one word for all you robots and ninjas.
You see, when competitive paintball left the woods it eventually left some things behind, like crawling. Oh, not right away and not altogether but what an Old Skooler thinks of when he thinks crawling in a paintball context isn't the crawling most of you know. And the distinction is instructive.
The introduction of hyperball began the intentional move out of the woods. Even so early hyperball fields were specifically designed to incorporate elements of play that acknowledged the then accepted skill set of competition paintball--and it included crawling. In time airball altered the game some more--but again, where do you think the notion of a snake came from? Crawling. So, in a sense we still incorporate crawling as an accepted (and valued) skill in competition paintball but it isn't really anything like it once was. As the competition environment changed so did the skill and its utility.
There are more than a few insights to be drawn from the example of crawling as it applies to the whole robots versus ninjas debate. I'll leave you to think on it and next week I'll get into in depth until I make you cry, 'Uncle.'

No comments: