An Ironic Consumer review by J.R. "Thor" Antrim
Everyone knows that videogames make you more violent, they just don't like to admit it. Play too much Tony Hawk, and you start to size up real life curbs. The same goes for Grand Theft Auto. After spending a few too many hours in Vice City, I'd look at vehicles and mentally evaluate them ("Garbage truck: slow speed, high armor, good for assault missions"). I'd think of pedestrians as moving speedbumps. I'd kill hookers after I slept with them.
But do videogames train you to kill? Hardly. There's no recoil, they don't teach you how to fire a weapon. Play enough Unreal Tournament and, at most, you'll build up a really mean clicking finger.
Paintball is different. Go to any Paintball field and they'll load you up with realistic weapons that actually fire. And I'm not talking some playtime happy-nerf Laser Tag hugfest, these things shoot projectiles at live human targets, who run and scream and beg you to stop shooting them in the face. It's great!
Hypotheses: Videogames give me the urge to kill. Paintball gives me the means. After a week with High Impact Paintball, I'll be the ultimate killing machine.
I was surprised to see that a four year old game had an auto-update feature. I was even more surprised that developer WizardWorks never got around to releasing an update. But a solid dude such as myself doesn't need to update his software. After only a few fatal crashes, I had this thing up and running no problem. Rock 'n Roll!
On my first day, I practiced my aim, held back and let my teammates handle things. This turned out to be a necessity as my character couldn't move. Let's hope they fix this in the upcoming patch.
Realized the W-A-S-D keys were off by default. They would pay for this treachery... oh how they would pay.
I felt my heart pound in my chest as I crested a mountain and ran smack dab into a blood splattered school bus.
Waitaminute... *counts on fingers* This thing was released in 2000? Man, they had some balls.
Unfortunately, I had so much fun running around shooting paintballs that I didn't have time to be very violent or angry. Let's hope this changes in the future.
Aw, change the channel. I saw this one before on the news.
I quickly dominated the opposing force, raining down a hail of hot, pink fury upon anyone unfortunate enough to cross my path. The only problem was my teammates. Instead of guarding our flag, they stood around like some kind of moron who couldn't figure out the controls. I had to identify the weakest link. After much debate, I was forced to admit that I couldn't find one. These guys were all equally pathetic.
From now on, anyone caught lollygagging would be subjected to ten crotch shots. Twenty, if they flinch. Unfortunately, I got kind of carried away. And, well, after fifty or sixty shots, my teammate began to disappear. I'm not sure if I started blowing things off or if he just tried to escape to an alternate universe bit by bit. Either way, the groin-based discipline will have to discontinue until further notice.
The ultimate test of loyalty.
Disaster has struck. I've come down with a bad case of flannel. The doctor says I'll be allright as long as I stay away from hunting, fishing and other mullet-based activities. I ignored him, even though he warned me it might result in a bad case of Truck Nuts.
It was time to choose my first in command. Looking over the roster, I decided to pick Ashley as my "Shadow Player" or "tagalong" using time-tested military reasoning: She was cute and pink and I thought she was sweet on me.
Finally: Proof that cute girls are smarter than big fat guys.
The flannel has began to receed from my forearms. As soon as we hit the field, I glanced back to issue orders to Ashley. But something was wrong. She was... different somehow.
Wait a minute!
|These weren't Ashley's eyes!
|And this wasn't Ashley's
It was obvious. We had been infiltrated by ninjas. The thought alone was enough to send me over the edge. My teeth ground to dust, my blood boiled to steam, and a thousand ghosts screamed inside my head: "KILL! KILL! KILL!" I descented upon the battlefield like a raven of death. Enemy forces and teammates alike were swept away in a flood of pink paint, leaving behind only empty C02 cartridges and sun bleached bones.
I had mastered the game. It was time to take this into the real world.
Since there's no paintball store around here, I had to come up with my own equipment. I already had an AG 10X2 Battle Helmet, but no weapon. I tried loading a BB gun with grapes, but it suffered frequent jams. So I just filled a water pistol with paint.
The hardest thing to come by was going to be actual opponents. Let's hope somebody wants to play!
Nobody. Wants. To play. Not even if you shoot 'em a couple of times — trust me, it doesn't work. I guess no amount of war games prepare you for the real thing.
My aim was completely off and my violent impluses pretty much died out once that crowd of angry shoppers caught up with me. The experiment was a disaster. But I wasn't about to give up my dream of becoming the ultimate killing machine.
It was so obvious, it was staring me in the face the whole time. The answer was right there in the game introduction:
"High Impact Paintball is a lightning fast simulation of the sport that has made tactical combat fun. The only thing we can't provide are the welts all over your body when you're done playing!"
Of course! Rushing to the Ironic Consumer workshop, I spent weeks coming up with the most important thing to happen to the fan-based Paintball videogame mod community since Ivan Rosenbloom invented rumble goggles.
J.R. "Thormonger" Antrim and Ironic Consumer proudly present: The Welt Warrior Expansion Pack.
Just fill the Welt Warrior Applicator with one cartidge (or "wasp") and apply to the area of impact. When you feel that tinglying, burning, red hot pain sensation, you'll know it's working!
I may not be the ultimate killing machine, but at least my body is covered in painful welts. Thanks, High Impact Paintball!
- J.R. Antrim loves all things paint. Especially paint chips. They even stay crunchy in milk!
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