Matching wits with colour and strategy

 >> BORN&BRED PLAY By Viktor Chong Simulated war games for the young and the young-at-heart Xtion Paintball E nsc...

>> BORN&BRED PLAY By Viktor Chong Simulated war games for the young and the young-at-heart Xtion Paintball E nsconced in the urban heart of Bukit Jalil is the 5.5-acre land of Xtion Paintball, where children and adult alike slug it out in a game of guns and bruises.

Dotting the field are the miniature human-made hills, plastic barrels and rocks that form part and parcel of the battle zone.

A participant freshly painted by the opposing team.

From afar, one could see the vast layers of netting erected to form a protective zone to shelter the passerby from the stray bullets.

According to Xtion Paintball general manager Raja Anor Shah, parents are now encouraging their children to play paintball.

“They don’t want their children to become nerds sitting in front of a computer,” said Raja, adding that the computer games could also spoil one’s eyesight.

And there certainly are some merits in his words.

Dressed in bulky body vest and a protective visor, I could barely run a few hundred metres before fatigue creeps in.

The paintball gun or marker, attached with the oxygen tank is also worth a few kilograms in weight.

Adding to the exertion is the fancy manoeuvre players will have to make to avoid incoming fire from the opposing team.

At the call of the referee, the players rush out to meet the opposing team in a game of “Capture the Flag.” To Raja, paintball is more than just a game.

“It also trains their leadership skills, confidence, team spirit and integrity,” he said.

The rules of the game require a player who has been marked by a paintball to leave the field or “respawn” by touching the banner at the starting point.

Players could easily cheat by continuing the game, but it will not be in line with the spirit of fair play.

The charm of Paintball is that participants have fun while learning discipline at the same time, and the sporty community of Bukit Jalil is rarely shy to turn down a slugfest.

Raja said many international students also participated in the game, such as Arabs, Africans and those from mainland China.

Raja explaining some safety tips to the children.

He added that companies also sent their staffs for team building training through paintball.

Raja stressed that it isn’t easy for a paintball operator to get a license from the government, as the paintball gun, also known as markers are akin to firearms.

“Very few people have the ability to deliver a safe-and-secure paintball game to the customers,” he said, adding that a qualified team of staff is needed to brief the participants as well as to monitor the games.

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