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Posted 03-06-2009 at 06:32 PM by Fox
Nostalgia - [no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-]

"a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time: a nostalgia for his college days. "

We all idolize this word and it's meaning, we all think back to the "better times" mostly because we like to forget the bad ones. However, as I posted and was given this idea to blog about my feelings, it's reminded me how long I've played airsoft. Also it's reminded me how I've watched, and been a part of the changing times. From the being a pain in the *** newbie, to being blade's rivial, to being someone who was obsessed with custom guns, to now trying to be a community leader. With out going step by step though, I would like to trace my feelings in my personal outlook on my history with airsoft, and how I see it's future.

I am very much a person who believes that change is good, as long as the change fits me. Now that might sound a little righteous, and your probably correct in that. I also believe for airsoft, the best airsoft will be as a support, is as a tight nit, smaller sized Mil-Sim community that provides a way out for the weekend warriors. It's not a kid's sport, it's not cheap, and it's not to be taken lightly. Everyone should have fun, you should meet the best of people and friends when you got to an event. However, it's something that should be taken seriously on and off the field.

However, the point of this post was not the above statement. The point of this is to basically show what I went through as a teenager being introduced into airsoft. And how I've been in the sport, and seen it grow - now pushing 10 years probably.

Starting out in my friends backyard, I borrowed a spring pistol from D_man. I was terribly afraid of being shot. But then again, I was 13. My friend zack shot is own foot, and showed me it didn't hurt. So we started to play in his barn; stupidly with out eye protection. We played with spring pistols, old school cheap spring rifles, and of course the mini-aeg's that are a joke now. We all had big dreams of getting AEG's and other things, but none of us would really spend the money. I mean hey, we were like 12-14 years old.

Finally, when we were about 14 or 15, D_man finally bought his first gas pistol. A KSC Glock 17. I shortly followed with an Omega Bretta 93R, a friend of ours got a USP, and another a beretta M9. It was an arms war. When someone got something new, all the rest continued the tread. So now, we were at the gas blow back stage. At this point, we had no idea airsoft of any scale existed. We didn't even dream of it. Please note; this is also 8-10 years ago, so the airsoft community was alot smaller. We were just entering High School, we had really no idea what we were doing. Just messing around in the back yard still.

From that, our one friend then bought a Tokyo Mauri SR-16. And that started the arms race. From there, me and D_Man ordered our first guns. At this time, there was no other brand other then Tokyo Mauri of any decent quailty. The cloners back then sucked in comparison today. This was 8 years ago, if not more. I picked up a TM Ak-47, D_Man bought a TM M4. At this time, we discovered airsoft Ohio. So era 2001 to put it in perspective. We got on AO, saw that there were get together's of 30-40 people in Columbus, at Franbar.. and thus we went to our first game.

Everyone had TM guns, except one person with an ICS Mp5.. amazing to think of it. We had 30 people in one place? So started Fox's adventure on AO, and D_man's gearwhoredom. (He also learned very well: Never put pepsi in a camel back.) I went in my hunting camo, ATV goggles, and duct taped together AK Mag's. I was 15, it was a blast. I could never imagine the scale that airsoft is today. The milsim, the number of manufactures and just the scale the sport is now. I also never imagined myself playing airsoft today, and being such involved in the sport as a team leader, event hoster, and attempting to be a community leader.

As the years went on, for about 2-3 years not much changed, the sport grew, but not a whole lot. It was still a very small (Meaning less then 150 active people) localized community. There was small open games in Cleveland with Team TAC. The Strikers used Jewtiful's field, and we all played at Franbar. Amazing little community. We were always asked how much one needed to get into airsoft. And the answer always was about $500 to buy a TM Gun, Battery, spare mag, cheap tac vest, camo and goggles.

I don't know what exactly happened, but something did. The Airsoft community pretty much nationally; but especially in Ohio, exploded. Me and D_man originally had the UNRRF. We played in my yard, which I lived in the middle of no where and had some property. We went to 2-3 games a year.. springfield had just opened, and it was Operation: AirCav. However, we continued to play airsoft as our little team. Something though changed, and I think it was with Operation: Irene II in Joelton TN. On the drive back (a grueling 10 hours), we decided to form a new team, and thus was born the 08th EU. However, this is not a history lesson either.

The sport has changed, and I don't know why I didn't realize this before. But as the sport grew, the level of play did too. Before, and now the "Major teams of AO" only had a handful of choices to play. And we all grew into 'national' teams with that, who attend national scale events. Making Ohio, a very milsim friendly state, and very important in terms of the airsoft world due to how large our community is.

However, with this growth, there is still the local teams. Those who play in the backyards, at the farms. Those who dream of going to national events; but simply don't have the means to do so. It's those who don't want to travel more then 30 miles to play, and it's the market for cloners now. I know for a hard fact, at Irene this year; PTW's will outnumber Echo 1's hands down. but it's the scale of the people you play with. There is no reason for these local level players to buy the best gun, because there is no arms race. There is no need to have the absolute best.

With that though, you also see now; as more and more players fill the state.. the nomadic players. Those who will travel the state, and would like to go to national events, however just can't afford to, or just don't have the means to via lack of team, or whatever. They will play At springfield, or Battlefront, Or conquest, Red Dragon, where ever in Ohio or even the local regions.. but they won't go to Irene, Northern Wind, etc.

And to me, it's just interesting to seeing the 'Classes' of players in Ohio. It's interesting how we each have our own little groups. The larger, National Teams, the middle of smaller/middle teams that will travel the state, and then the local groups of friends who game together.

Perhaps it's just me realizing this, but it opens my eyes up to how I should recommend guns and gear to people. What level play do they want? What level play will they go to? It's interesting for all new players... what level do you want to play at? What level of play do you intend to go to? Do you want to play in back yards and small events? Or do you want to step up into the big leagues?

However, Nostalgia's a hell of a thing. It's interesting looking back on your own history and seeing how it's played into making the future you're looking at.

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  1. Old
    Wood's Avatar
    Wow Fox, thanks for this reading, I have not been around for long, but it does seem like AO has a great rep, and has grown a lot, even since I joined on in Nov 08th.
    Posted 03-07-2009 at 01:25 PM by Wood Wood is offline
  2. Old
    Lone Wolf's Avatar
    I'm 13 and i spend the money on the guns and i'm like lower middle upper class
    Posted 03-07-2009 at 10:22 PM by Lone Wolf Lone Wolf is offline

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