Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mimic battle, a new pastime of Saigonees

Paintball is a sport in which players compete, in teams or individually, to eliminate opponents by tagging them with capsules containing water soluble dye and gelatin shell outside (referred to as paintballs) propelled from a device called a paintball marker (commonly referred to as a paintball gun). Paintballs have a non-toxic, biodegradable, water soluble mineral-oil.

Games are played on outdoor fields. A game field is scattered with natural or artificial terrain, which players use for tactical cover. Rules for playing paintball vary, but can include capture the flag, elimination, ammunition limits, defending or attacking a particular point or area, or capturing objects of interest hidden in the playing area. Depending on the variant played, games can last from seconds to hours, or even days in scenario play.

This game was imported into HCM City for nearly two years, even later than in other provinces like Can Tho and Lam Dong, but it has developed very rapidly in Vietnam’s largest city. HCM City currently has three paintball fields, which are being standardized.

Huu Ky, a young correspondent, said: “After a tired week, I and my colleagues often go to a paintball field to play mimic battle as a good way to relax. Previously, we had to go to Madagui tourist site in Lam Dong or to Can Tho city but this game has been held in Saigon now.”

Mai Nhu, an office employee, said: “I and my colleagues sometimes play a mimic battle to relax. This game is as active as playing football and women can also play it with men.”

Nguyen Tien Cong, deputy director of Tri Long Company, which runs a paintball field in HCM City, said that the guns used in this game can cause wounds to players so they are controlled strictly by supervisors and referees. Each game is under the witness of at least one referee and two supervisors. Players are always reminded to not take off their protective masks during the game. Any player who breaks this rule will be expelled from the field. Actually, some players have their eyes injured.

Cong said that this game is not violent, but a game of teamwork. The game helps training physical strength, fundamental military tactics, discipline, self-awareness and teamwork spirit.

In some countries, paintball is seen as a sport, with organized tournaments. Tri Long plans to organize such an event in Vietnam. Cong said that the first tournament may be held in 2012.