Fragments of thoughts on this subject were brought to mind again recently from a number of sources and so I'm inclined to comment on them. (Wouldn't be much of a blog if I didn't. Yeah, yeah, I know and I don't want to hear it.) In order of least important to most there's the tiny tempest in the comments section of the recent post on the new masthead photo. It's inconsequential if mildly amusing but it does remind that photos of paintball at best serve as a record of the past but since most of them are simply pictures of anonymous players shooting guns they are literally a dime a dozen--if I'm being generous--and may please a few players but don't do much if anything for paintball. By the way, that's the criteria for these ruminations; what sorts of media may actually function as outreach for paintball? Since everything nowadays is about growing the game.
Well, there's a couple of magazines still around. Kinda. (Maybe?) (Is some version of APG still out there somewhere?) I like the one from Portugal 'cus it's plainly a labor of love. I liked Grind. There was a Russian one too but I haven't seen it around lately. Word is Paintball News has reappeared but rumor has it Valken is using it mostly for corporate promotion. (Anyone seen it yet?) There is of course the latest iteration of the now online only magazine that is working hard to produce volumes for everyone but could one possibly do a more perfunctory job? Hard to imagine. It's about as generic as generic gets with an emphasis on photos over written content and the written content is about as dull and unexciting as a day spent at the DMV. And have you ever noticed the photos tend to feature the advertisers--or maybe it's just me. It's almost as if the magazine really exists purely as a vehicle for advertisements.
Ironically, crass commercial advertising almost certainly reaches more non-paintballers than vanity photography and webzines aimed at existing players and if you broaden the definition of advertising a wee bit and include product packaging it's not even debatable. So there you have it. It's on all you advertisers to make sure your ads--if not your products--are suitably enticing that they draw in new players.
In this transitional era is media simply an echo chamber for those already actively involved in paintball or does it--can it--have a real role in promoting the game? More ruminations coming in part 2.