My first time playing airsoft was a pretty hilarious experience. Probably one of the times in my life when I had the most fun ever. I had some experience playing paintball so I had a faint idea of it would be like, however, the context of the game itself was what made it so hilarious.
The thing is, I am a student of universal history at the college. This career belongs to the area of humanities. And that, as we all know, is a synonym for eccentric people.
This story begins in my class for the history of South America, where I share the classroom with a Jew, a racist, a girl preparing to become a nun, a lesbian, and, of course, our vegan professor, among other very particular individuals. The professor, however, takes the prize for originality. He came up with the bright idea that to show us the dynamics of war, and we should go out to play airsoft altogether.
If that sounded like a bad idea and an even worse example, it’s because it was. But how could we have denied it? It also sounded like the most fun we would have in a class. Except, maybe, for that time we went hiking, and our very old professor fell down the mountains. He made it out alive and well. Now I was just curious if we would be that lucky after playing airsoft together.
Since we didn’t deny it and the professor looked excited, one week after his proposition we made it out to the new and popular place for playing airsoft. It was placed on the outskirts of our city, and we had all rented a bus to get there. But it was worth it.
They had several “warzones” as they particularly liked to call them, some were complicated mazes, some were a little more wide open, and there was one that was fully inside a forest. With our reputation of dedicated students and the discount, we managed to afford around in each of those types of grounds.
One of the people that worked there started giggling as she helped us get ready, but as we explained why we were there, she exploded in laughs and genuinely had to be replaced by another worker. Just imagine this, a skinny girl that barely passed the five-foot mark on height, next to an almost overweight man that used to practice karate, both dressed in the uniforms of the North American army, but playing as indigenous people versus sixteenth-century Europeans.
It looked just a little bit off. It took us twice as long to get ready as it would normally take because every time we looked at each other, we would start laughing as well.
Finally, we made it out into the first round: the maze. It was supposed to represent the Andes, the treacherous mountains. And even though we all looked like American soldiers, we were pretty involved with our characters.
After all, we had actually studied for this. What we didn’t expect was just how fun it was to shoot our classmates. At the first sound of someone screaming “Did you just shoot me?!” we all lost control. We started running like frenzied kids, shooting everybody even if they were from our own team. Meanwhile, our professor was running around the borders of the game shouting at us.
“That’s your general! You can’t shot him!” and “Oh great, kill your brother, that’s your brother!” and my personal favorite “Hey! Columbus! You’re doing everything wrong! That’s why no one liked you!”
Miraculously, we finished that round, and we moved onto a slightly more difficult zone: the forest. This was, of course, a second representation of the Amazon forest. This time our professor took it upon himself to divide us into five little groups. The Spanish army against four wild indigenous groups that fought against each other too. And that part we actually pulled off.
The problem was that no one had seen the Spanish for a while until I hear one of my teammates shout “Columbus! Don’t be a coward! Get down from that tree! America is over here!”
After shooting the cowards from the European team until they fell from the trees, we moved onto the last round. This was more difficult because we were supposed to be serious. It was a more complex and methodical place, something between a small maze and a real representation of a war zone. Our professor, the poor guy, was so stressed that he decided to join us. He was the bad guy, the Spanish general that was trying to stop the American revolution and independence.
We followed our instructions at heart. We couldn’t help it. We targeted our professor. Maybe it wasn’t his brightest idea. But we remember a couple of bad grades he had previously given us, and we decided it would be alright to shot him at any chance we got. However, it was so hilarious, so strange and so, so funny that we started laughing hysterically. In a few minutes, we all fell to our knees, clutching our stomachs and letting tears fall from our eyes from just how hard we were laughing.
We never expected our fragile-looking, vegan, perfectionist, rational, serious professor to recover from our surprise attack and get revenge while we were too distracted to defend ourselves. The old man got up with more determination than you’d think a man of his age could muster and he started firing like crazy.
He fired at us until his gun ran out and then he had the audacity to take one of our guns and continue to shoot! It was painful, but it was hilarious. I’m sure that not many students have had similar experiences — the privilege of being a humanities student.