Allow me to open with a confession. I’m a huge fan of modern combat. Guns, bullets, and things that go boom. While Jerry Bruckheimer is not my god, he is more than mortal, in the same class as John Woo and Steven Spielberg. So it is with fanboy-ish glee that I present our next feature: Paintball!

Background: Basically, a game of tag with guns. You get hit, you’re out. It’s that simple. You can play individually or in teams, in either indoor or outdoor arenas. The playing field is littered with obstacles where you can take shelter (see above pic). The “guns” you’ll be using are called paintball markers, loaded with paint-filled pellets that break apart upon impact and “mark” the impact point. Safety equipment is composed of a mask, gloves, and sometimes a vest.

Why it’s fun: Competition at its finest. You have to have speed, cunning, and a steady aim to beat your opponent. Add in the team aspect, and the challenge ramps up considerably! Recreating your favorite action flicks, while enjoyable, is an incidental thrill. Note: Yelling “COVER ME!” or “FORWARD!” through a mask will only confuse your teammates. Hand signs are better–and much cooler.

What you need: Access to a paintball arena. Most will have all the equipment ready for rent, and ammo for sale. Just remember to wear old or sturdy clothing. The paint is water soluble, but your clothes (and you) are gonna take a lot of punishment. Those who want to get serious will have to buy masks first of all (hygiene) and then paint markers.

Oh, and bring plenty of friends!

Suggested for: Military fanboys. People who try to intimidate their reflections in the bedroom mirror. Anyone who’s seen an action movie. Those who can stand the odd bruise or ten.

Not for: People who don’t like guns. Or being hit by guns (well, paint pellets). Or people who don’t know when to stop shooting after the opposition gets tagged (Ramon I’m talking to you).