Paintball, video games

Paintball, video games

This is a discussion on Paintball, video games within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I brought up in another thread the value of video games and paintball as a training tool. Personally, I've played paintball since 1987, and have ...

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Thread: Paintball, video games

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array TacticalCompact's Avatar
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    Paintball, video games

    I brought up in another thread the value of video games and paintball as a training tool. Personally, I've played paintball since 1987, and have been playing first-person-shooter based video games for years.


    I've found that my ability to strategize, along with my situational awareness, is much higher that the average person who hasn't participated in similar activities. Games in which I am forced to learn, apply, and create tactics on the fly against other real human beings armed with various types of weaponry, in different scenarios, seem to prepare me in many ways.

    For one, I am accustomed to thinking fast when under fire. I am trained to seek cover and return fire from a safe position. I am trained when to NOT shoot, such as from a position where I am unlikely to score a hit. I do not intend to alert a possible attacker to my position if they have a rifle and I don't.

    There are many tactical situations that I feel I would excell in due to my previous exposure to similar scenarios albeit simulated ones.

    I am curious to hear what the rest of you think about this. Do you believe that someone who has spent hundreds or thousands of hours training in such a way should have a greater "feel" for tactical planning, a faster adaptation to similar situations in real life, better reaction times and coordination, etc?

    Let's try and keep this conversation objective and refrain from the flaming. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    You make some good points. The Army has actually used video games to help train their soldiers in urban combat, although I don't remember the name of the game. Not directly related, but pilots also learn on glorified video games (flight sims). Additionally, you never know when those over-developed thumb muscles might come in handy.

    As for paintball, I'd love to hear from some of the pros here, but it might apply pretty well. One of the things I have learned from paintball is that it is truly amazing how much people completely miss what they are shooting at!

    Please do not construe any of this as equating either of these as substitutes for training, experience, or reality...


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    Like I said in the other thread, both are valued tools in training theory and reality. I am a FATS instructor, and have done that role both as an LEO and military. It is a valuable tool, just as the flight sims are to the airlines and military... but it is not real experiance. If it was, I've survived thousands of gun battles with out a scratch.
    Its hardly realistic and dangerous to attempt to compare the paintball field and the street or battlefield. Its not experiance. Its not even training. What goes on in a video game or a paintball game is no where near what happens out on the block. Your experianced in video games and paintball, not combat. To suggest otherwise is an insult to those who are, and that line of thinking is going to get you (or someone else) hurt.

    With all that said, you do make some solid points. I have no doubt that the games do make you feel more aware and confident... a person can be very aware and alert, but if they have no idea what they are looking at, what good is it?
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    Member Array rmarcustrucker's Avatar
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    great points. One thing I enjoy in my simunition trainings is you can do plenty of "what if" scenario's and in the live events you can test the "what if's" and you will find some out some "I never thought of that before". Great idea's

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I have done the paintball games and am currently setting up a group of adults against our church youth group. With that said its a whole lot different when somone shoots at you with real bullets and the real bullets do more than put a blister on your skin.
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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    With that said its a whole lot different when somone shoots at you with real bullets and the real bullets do more than put a blister on your skin.
    +1 You will sometimes take chances when you know the worst that will happen is that you are out of the game until the next round.
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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    I held off responding because I could not think of a way to convey my thoughts without being insulting. SIXTO did it for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Its hardly realistic and dangerous to attempt to compare the paintball field and the street or battlefield. Its not experiance. Its not even training. What goes on in a video game or a paintball game is no where near what happens out on the block. Your experianced in video games and paintball, not combat. To suggest otherwise is an insult to those who are, and that line of thinking is going to get you (or someone else) hurt.
    Some History: I was one of the "subject-matter experts" (if there is such a thing when it comes to combat) selected by the Army to work with several video game developers in order to develop video game/training tools for the Army. We were selected specifically because we had no backround with computer games (at least I was), though we ended up playing a lot of Ghost Recon to get up to speed on what was currently available. (For the taxpayers out there, this was an additional duty not my primary job.)

    We flew out to California every few monthes to provide input, examine an apect of the game. When we actually sat down with the computer programmers (all experiencd gamers) and explained what needed to happen, they were incredulous. It was not uncommon for us to be told that what we wanted could not be replicated. Frequently, when we "tested" the game we caused it to "crash" as we attempted to do relatively basic things from our perspective that they had never considered.

    Ultimately, I caught wind of an overseas requirement and volunteered, leaving the program. To my knowledge, the only real product of all the work that was done was a game called Full Spectrum Warrior. I understand it sold well commercially, but from a training standpoint it fell well short of the mark despite everyone's hard work.

    As for paintball. Can parallels be drawn between it and a no-kidding, real-deal gunfight? Sure. But I can draw parallels between my morning commute and driving in Baghdad. At the end of the day, one does not prepare you for the other.

    To quote a man I respect greatly: Training is training, not a game.

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    I'm with SIXTO on this. While I think it may have some value, I believe the quote below is folly and may very well, if the time ever comes that you find yourself in a defensive situation, get you killed. Range time with the weapon you are going to carry and overall situational awareness would be more valuable in my opinion. And, since very few paintball guns, or game controllers, have the same look and feel to a real gun AirSoft would seem to be a better alternative for adding value to training through play....

    I've found that my ability to strategize, along with my situational awareness, is much higher that the average person who hasn't participated in similar activities. Games in which I am forced to learn, apply, and create tactics on the fly against other real human beings armed with various types of weaponry, in different scenarios, seem to prepare me in many ways.
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    Ex Member Array TacticalCompact's Avatar
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    Ok let me add a bit. I'm a lifetime shooter. Been working with firearms since I was a small child. I'm a good shot. I don't mean to insinuate that anyone can play games then go out, pick up a gun, and hit the battlefield. I think you may misunderstand. The games are not a benefit when it comes to using the weapon. The games are a benefit for tactical strategy. Learning how people think, react, recognizing your options along with the other guys options, anticipating their next move, getting inside their head. The "what would I do if I were in his shoes" kind of thinking that you can only gain having BEEN in his shoes. You can never really prepare for unexpected combat with unknown BGs in an unexpected location. However, playing out as many scenarios as possible should help.

    What I'm saying is that all else being equal, the average person would be far more effective in combat having had say, 3000 hours of America's Army and Battlefield 2 under his belt than someone who had, say, no combat experience whatsoever.

    Also, I believe the average "soldier" these days has pretty much no combat experience at all. Many of these kids are going into combat and the combat itself is the training. Would they not be a step ahead of the game if they've played quality first-person shooter games against other real-live people?

    It's true that in the games I will take chances knowing that the worst that can happen is I will have to wait 15 seconds to respawn. However, I know that I am taking that chance when I do it. Sometimes I play with the intent of not dying at all. I have a feeling real combat is very similar to many of the games I've played in that it's fast, very intense, and relatively chaotic. Sometimes the biggest chance is NOT making that move.

    The reason this came up is because of a thread detailing an instance where 3 armed men entered a resaraunt. Two of the men took some women to the back room to rape, while the third kept watch. From my gamer's perspective, the CCW in the room has been placed into a very difficult position. However, I believe he has a tactical advantage here. The third person left to watch is left to watch a large number of people spread out in the room. He would be an easy target.

    The remaining two BG's have to re-enter the room through a door or hallway. Once the first BG is down, cover is sought and an open line of fire to cover that doorway is set up. In my mind, a clear strategic advantage where a good shot and a calm head would win out most of the time. The BG's were unorganized and unprepared, leaving themselves open. What I see is that they are inexperienced and would not put up much of a fight.

    My point is that having played out thousands of similar scenarios against other real LIVE people in a virtual environment prepares the individual to accurately predict the behavior of a BG based on understanding their options.

    The tactics involved in some of these games are very real. The only difference is that it is all played out on a screen. We've been playing these games since we were kids, and I liked this one:

    "Retired Marine Col. Gary W. Anderson, former chief of staff of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, agrees. And he takes it a step further: Today's soldiers, having grown up with first-person shooter games long before they joined the military, are the new Spartans, he says."

    (Virtual Reality Prepares Soldiers for Real War)

    Spartans. I think that is a great analogy.

    Anyhow, I spend a lot of time at the range, and will be attending some serious tactical training. I realize there is a difference between being shot at and playing games whether virtual or paintball. However, experience being shot at comes at a price, and not many of us hope to ever have it. Good FPS games like BF2 and AA can certainly train a mind to think in combat mode. I don't know if it's clear but I am not talking about playing against the computer. I am talking about playing against other real live people.

    Are there any other gamers out there? I don't mean to insult at all, but it seems that most of the input here is from non-gamers.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    For realistic training...enlist in the Marines.
    Even when I was in a hundred years ago, the simulated field training with real M-16's loaded with blanks and Ranger qualified instructors kicking our butts didn't prepare us in the least for when the first 7.62 round zinged over your head.
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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    For realistic training...enlist in the Marines.
    Even when I was in a hundred years ago, the simulated field training with real M-16's loaded with blanks and Ranger qualified instructors kicking our butts didn't prepare us in the least for when the first 7.62 round zinged over your head.
    I would say that comment is tough to argue with or improve on, so I won't try to do either. Thanks for serving.
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    Ex Member Array TacticalCompact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    For realistic training...enlist in the Marines.
    Even when I was in a hundred years ago, the simulated field training with real M-16's loaded with blanks and Ranger qualified instructors kicking our butts didn't prepare us in the least for when the first 7.62 round zinged over your head.
    I mean no disrespect. I am thankful for your service and appreciate our men and women in uniform. However, how do you qualify the field training your received in the Marine Corps. as better or more realistic when it "didn't prepare us in the least" ?

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    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    I've played FPS video games and paintball, both.

    In my opinion, the video games give you nothing but entertainment.

    Paintball has SOME benefits, particularly with regards to validating tactics and providing some measure of stress inoculation. That's because people actually ARE shooting at you, and even though it's highly unlikely you'll be seriously injured or killed, it still HURTS.....and the fear of that pain generates STRESS.

    At first.

    After that, it gets easier, less stressful, and more fun every time you do it.

    You make fewer mistakes when your pulse isn't pounding in your ears.

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    The only problem with paintball as preperation is you know who is on your team, you know how many people are against you, you don't have non-combatants, other than the refs...and if they get shot, it doesn't ruin your life. You are in cammo, hiding in brush. You knew you were about to get into a gunfight for several hours before it happened. You have a team that you have probably practiced with, so are probably adept at maneuvering, advancing under cover, retreating under fire, flanking and a host of other battle techniques.
    But in a real life situation, you don't know who is on your team, they don't wear jerseys to identify themselves. You didn't know you were going to be in a gunfight, so you probably don't have 100+ rounds with you. In paintball you can spray and pray without worrying about collateral damage. In paintball you will probably miss or use for cover fire 20-30 shots minimum in a match (unless you get killed earlier).

    As far as FPS's, tons of ammo, armor, weapons that are either not legal or fantasy, rocket launchers are suprisingly easy to conceal and maneuver with, getting shot doesn't kill you or in any way limit your abilities...as long as your health bar doesn't fall to 0...health packs and first aid kits provide instant healing from that gun shot wound...ammo and weapons lying around for the taking...yeah, I see what you mean. I guess FPS's do provide realistic training for a possible encounter.

    edited to add: I will concede that video games are proven to increase reaction time and increase peripheral vision which should be huge advantages.
    Last edited by Kerbouchard; March 1st, 2008 at 01:23 AM. Reason: to add a concession
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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalCompact View Post
    I mean no disrespect. I am thankful for your service and appreciate our men and women in uniform. However, how do you qualify the field training your received in the Marine Corps. as better or more realistic when it "didn't prepare us in the least" ?
    No disrespect taken. My point is even the most realistic simulated training doesn't prepare you for the real thing. Anyone serving in battle learns more the first day than he did the previous six months of full-time, real weapons training.
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