What can we learn from FPS campers?

By » Fri, February 24 2012
5469302391 bc25bc99e1 450x252 What can we learn from FPS campers?

He's right there behind the bush. (img by Steve Wilson)

I played woodsball with my brothers and father one summer a couple of years ago. It was the second time I’d ever played any sort of paintball game, and I learned a hell of a lot.

I’ve always sucked at FPS type games. I have a weird spatial-awareness retardation when it comes to representation on the screen. It takes me forever to memorize maps that my brothers seem to pick up instantly, and I die a lot. I’ve begun to suspect that they’re good at learning maps because they’ve spent thousands of hours playing FPS games, where I’ve spent probably less than 40, but I like playing outside too much right now to dedicate time to killing dudes on screen.

I’ve always liked playing in the woods, love things like flashlight tag and capture the flag, and now play outside under the totally legit auspices of parkour.

But it turns out that parkour experience translates really well to moving around in the woods, but it translates really badly to the objective mission of paintball: shooting other people and avoiding being shot.

I expected my paintball debut to look like this:

Instead, I got shot a lot. Why? Because all kinds of flamboyant movement in a paintball game totally gives you away. After our afternoon of woodsball, as I was nursing my neck and testicle wounds, my brother said something like “Yeah, I’m just really really patient. I’ll hide in the leaves the whole game until someone stumbles across me, and then they’re dead… You can always tell when somebody’s moving because of the cover fire.. it just sounds different.”

I wish he’d said that shit before the game. Or in the context of an FPS chat. Because really what he’s advocating is camping: hanging out in an tactically advantageous spot, killing dudes.

Here’s a pretty well-put-together tutorial. Does it translate to real life? Well, watch it, then go read War of the Rats. Then tell me what you think.

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