Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Social Paintball

First a little love for the kids at Social. (Title is link to Social website.) They have put a lot of blood, sweat & tears into a labor of love and paintball can only benefit from the efforts of those willing to do so for the most minimal of returns--generally accompanied by more criticism than praise or worse, indifference. Second, you should visit Social, if you haven't, and see what the new site is all about. And I would recommend the same for any and all paintball-related sites that have something of interest to you. If nothing else support them by regularly checking in and seeing what's going on--and if you have anything to contribute to an ongoing conversation or the site, post a comment or three. Traditional media support of paintball is mostly a thing of the past and the plain fact is if you want to have a diversity of new media supporting and promoting paintball you (yes, you, no, not the other guy, you) need to actively support it. Just saying.
Now comes the part where I harsh everybody's mellow with some criticisms of the new Social PB. First up, "girl paintball tech" videos. For real? I know there's a contingent in paintball desperate to include more girls but pointing them (girls) out like freaks in a sideshow every time one shows up isn't the way to do it. If she was working on your gat is it important that she's a she or that she can do the job correctly? It's condescending (and isolating) whether it's intended to be or not.
Reporting & interviews. Neither one are about the reporter, what they think or how they feel. Case in point, the Russian Legion coverage. I realize the staff isn't professional journalists but more professionalism would go a long way from separating Social from the rest of the herd. (And frankly from much of the rest of paintball media, period.)
Keeping it real; controversy & taking a stand. This is an area that needs to be handled with care but not because it might upset some people but because it's easy to make a mess of it. For example, the piece called 'Does the APPA system class players out of the game?' For starters it's incomplete. All it does is throw out an assertion. It makes no case supporting that assertion or offers any alternatives. All it really does is re-hash in the most superficial way a subject VFTD broached in 2008. Is it a fair question? Sure, but if it's going to serve any purpose other than to rile up the ignorant or ill-informed it needs to be more than that. In fact APPA, working with the PSP, has changed the classification system dramatically from the time I first started posting about the issue until today and they continue to move in positive directions. (And of course the alternative to some sort of classification system is to say there is no such thing as sand-bagging. I'm okay with that but do you really want to go there?)
Then there is 'The Cost of Winning.' It isn't controversial or thought-provoking, it's just silly. It opens with the idea that Legion dropped it's American players from 2011 because they were more interested in saving money than winning paintball tournaments by equating them with professional football teams that focus on profit over winning. A) it misunderstands what Alex says in the PR, B) it demonstrates the author doesn't know the facts, and C) it strongly suggests the author has no clue about the realities of competing at the pro level in paintball. Later in the article he says, "Some pro teams are obviously worth more than D4 teams ..." No, they aren't worth more, they COST more. There is no profit, there is only cost and it is a flawed premise to begin with to equate any paintball team to a truly professional sports franchise. And everything that flows from that is misguided at best.
But it's hardly a make or break flaw. It is an example perhaps of trying too hard. Look, there are plenty of debatable topics in paintball. Exercise good judgment and some editorial oversight and raising controversial subjects will contribute to paintball instead of further muddying the water. Social has the potential to be a great paintball site and I am looking forward to seeing it reach its potential. 


Missy Q said...

You say 'condescending' and 'isolating'.
I say 'special' and 'comforting'

You say 'pointing them out'
I say 'making them feel noticed and appreciated'

You say 'side-show freak'
I say 'give her a full-time position'

There's room for these chicks if they want to hang. We're all sideshow freaks in this game.

Now if you're uncomfortable with the chicks being around paintball in general that's another issue...

Baca Loco said...

That's because you're a big fat chauvinist with a history of exploiting various female tendencies.
The more the merrier--preferably those with Daddy issues who crave a strong mature hand.

Missy Q said...

You say 'big fat chauvinist'
I say 'big boned appreciator of womenfolk'

You say 'exploiting female tendencies'
I say 'expoiting male tendencies, through the female form'

You partner 'Daddy Issues' with 'strong mature hand'
That's just sick man. Really sick. People go to hell for less than that...

Anonymous said...

that site is weak

Arjen Bokhoven said...

Just seen "PaintMate of the Month" - really hot girls wearing oversized jerseys and posing with guns. Cute, but in that truckdrivery beerbelly gateway drug to hardporn-y kinda way.

Mark said...

I found "tech girl" rather adorable, tho the firm hand she needed was one to show her how to turn the eye's off the gun she was tech'ing.

Baca Loco said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)

First, my "conversation" with Missy is purely hypothetical so any inferences you may have made are solely the product of your own dirty mind.
That said I would agree that tech girl is rather adorable--but that ain't the point.

Nor do I have any objections to "Paintmates" if the purpose is simply to try and drive traffic to the site. I'm just pointing out that it may be in conflict with the higher-minded claims of some who want to attract more females to paintball.

Missy Q said...

If it works for Formula One and every other racing industry, works for video-games and works for every major US sport (cheer-leaders anyone?), I don't see why skantily clad eye-candy should be an issue in Paintball, especially not if they can fix our shit.

Not that the girl tech was skantily clad of course, but if she was, she'd get more hits (and I mean that in an internet-hit kinda way, obviously.)

Can you explain the higher-minded claims? I'm not sure what they are.

Baca Loco said...

Nobody ever went broke overestimating the attention seeking habits of the fairer sex but all I meant by higher-minded was the seemingly conventional wisdom these days that "paintball" needs more female participants and should be actively working to interest more females in the game.
If that is a desireable (achieveable)goal I'm simply suggesting the way females are treated generally (gawked at, pedalstalized, even catered to but always defined as "girl" this or "girl" that) may be counterproductive.

Personally I don't care one way or the other because as a practical matter I don't see it's ever going to happen--but for those who profess to care they aren't doing a very good job of it so far.

raehl said...

50% of people are female, but maybe 10% of paintball players are female, so obviously if we could make paintball more attractive to women we'd open up a lot more participants.

The women I know who would be interested in paintball are athletic, and would be attracted to the sport as an athletic/competitive pursuit.

They are not interested in being eye candy.

I actually like the girl tech thing, because it's putting women in a spot where they're participating in the sport, and it shows women involved in a manner that doesn't involve just being someone to look at.

Not a fan of the paintgirl of the month. It's just a model holding some paintball equipment. We've been doing that for 10 years and frankly it's a waste of time - if what you want is skantily clad girls, there are far better places on the internet to find them than a paintball site.

Showcasing women in the sport is good - let's just showcase them as participants instead of paid eye candy.

Mark said...

On a rec-level girls love to play. I've had dozens of sweet-sixteen parties over the years. If nothing else it shames the fence-sitting teenage boys (and more then a few 20 to 30 somethings) into not being such wussies and giving the game a try. But trying to field a competitive team for the sole sake of promoting "girls in paintball" has been tried, and I'm still waiting for Missy's promised make out session.

Israel said...

I agree with all of you.

Missy Q said...

No Offence Raehl, but I think it's obvious that the women you know would not be interested in being Eye-Candy. That's like saying Mick Romney isn't interested in being a Liberal, or Rocky Cagnoni isn't interested in being an NBA player, or Baca Loco isn't interested in being an 85lb Japanese school-girl.
Your wife's excluded of course, being as she's hot.

Hot girls love being eye-candy. Proven fact. The ones that say they don't like it are the ones that like it the most.