PaintballX3 Magazine PaintballX3, November 2012 - Page 67

nd it is played wever, is not end diversion t popular extates (behind arding) and a y millions of e game itself creators and e first games out boyhood mpetitiveness, ty, and how nts join forcmpletely unk to reveal in me, a behindndividual and men who in- en about the ere has been omplete. This or and sportand Gurnsey ed to my anBest Man at early 1970s, I early discusof the game. ant judges in nd one of two aying field, in hored the oftheme song. present-day paintballers and those who played in the 1980s and '90s. Then the game was being reported in, among other periodicals, the NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, TIME, PEOPLE and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazines. So newsworthy, not to mention controversial, was the game that several of these publications ran articles about it a few times a year. CBS, NBC and ABC broadcasts, along with hundreds of local and regional news shows, reported on the games in both evening and morning segments. From the other side of the Atlantic came the British and French to film documentaries, and hereabouts the likes of The Phil Donahue Show and Nightline with Ted Koppel dedicated entire shows to covering the pros and cons of people shooting each other with co-2 powered pistols in the name of fun. That first "individual" game featured twelve players between the ages of thirty-two and forty-seven representing a diverse cross-section of professions and personalities who had no idea what to expect. It was hoped the experience would elevate each player's awareness of himself as a survivor in a specific context. It did so to such a degree that five months later the second "individual" game and first "team" game were played in Camden, Alabama. The "team" game was devised by Gurnsey, who was convinced that the only way Paintball could become a viable enterprise was if a "team" concept was invented, perfected and accepted. He recruited a handful of Good Ole Boys to play an experimental "team" game the morning after a long night of celebration following the second "individual" game. As successful as the "individual" game was, the "team" game red-lined the fun meter. That first "team" game is arguably the most important game played in terms of Paintball becoming a mainstream extreme sport. Paintball was created by three men who enjoyed competition and play and each other's company. It succeeded as a business because of hard work and vision and, to be sure, timing and a degree of luck. As Charles Gaines once said, "All of it happened, I believe, because the Survival Game extends itself naturally into a number of universally interesting metaphors. Playing the Game can actually show you in its own terms who you are, and there's no more interesting metaphor than that. The Game can also be seen as a metaphor for the efficacy of teamwork, for universal cause and effect and for the manner in which consequences evolve from sequential decisions." In July 2004, Charles Gaines attended a ceremony in Mars, PA, where the Paintball industry presented him with a lifetime achievement award (Noel and Gurnsey had received this same award in previous ceremonies K][\HYZ[ H[\]Y[H\Y]Y\[ۜ\HX]H\[Y\^YY[][\\H[[X[XK[H\[X\ \YHوPSӈTRUPQVSK[[\Y]]^Y\[\YYHXY[NPPSHTPSSQHSUPURSS ‚\HH[ܞK^H]H