P. Edronkin

Paintball Games For Real Combat Training (I).




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"Paintball games are fun and safe. However, if you intend to use paintballing as some sort of training device for actual weapons' usage, you should be aware of the fact that as it happens in the case of all simulations, paintball games usually do not reproduce actual combat circumstances to a total extent, and depending on what otherwise could be called "details", can contribute in a significantly different way to your training.

The bottom line is that since simulations are both simplified models of reality, as well as independent systems themselves, they cannot offer total accuracy and they provide their users with peculiar behaviours and characteristics that set them apart on their own.

Such characteristics could modify the behaviour of the user to adapt it to the environment of the simulator, and that, in turn, could end modifying the behaviour in real circumstances as well.

For example, in the case of paintball games, the weigh, dimensions and ballistic characteristics of paintball guns will induce certain behaviours in their users, which cannot be translated -so to speak- into real-world attitudes useful for the manipulation of -say- real guns.

Reloading is such an example: while most real-life weapons are reloaded in similar ways, paintball guns have their own characteristics in this real which differ radically from those of the former group.

Since the whole process is different, reloading practice with paintball weapons is of little use for real training or, worse, will induce attitudes on the shooter that will make him waste valuable and critical time in the event of a real combat situation.

Nevertheless, paintball games or battles can be used quite successfully to train military, police and security personnel. You just have to observe some rules and consider that the game and related equipment as it is usually purchased, might need some adaptations.

This is not a fact particular to combat simulation and training: pilots are individuals that routinely receive training in simulators and they can even log flight hours with such machines; there are things that are simply too dangerous o too costly to practice in real aircraft.

However, government institutions such as the FAA in the United States have studied the impact of flight simulation on pilot performance, and it is currently believed that while it is indeed a useful thing to do, not only it has limitations but it could become counterproductive as well.

I am myself a pilot, and I have logged a few hours on flight simulators. I knwo two facts about these: first, that they are more sensitive to control inputs than real aicraft, and second, that the bes use you can do of a flight simulator is to try the real aircraf first, and then jumpi in a simulator's cockpit.

In this way you will be able to compare one to the other; if you climb in a simulated Citabria - not to mention really complex aircraft - and then try to do some areobatics using the real thing, you will die. If you try to fly IFR a real Fairchild F-27, and then do so in a flight simulator, you will do fine."


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