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    Interview – Australian Blaster Enthusiasts – Part One

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    Jeo

    Posts : 462
    Join date : 2011-01-27
    Age : 30
    Location : Canberra

    Interview – Australian Blaster Enthusiasts – Part One

    Post  Jeo on Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:29 pm

    Hello blaster enthusiasts of Australia and the world! Today marks a special occasion that I was hoping to bring out to celebrate my 20,000th view. The theory was to conduct an interview with all of the powers that be throughout Australia in the blaster community.(Un)Fortunately, readership picked up over the past month or so and I hit that milestone far sooner than expected (29/10/12 @ 11:05 if you were curious). Sooo… you all get a slightly belated view into the Australian blaster scene instead!

    For those of you outside of Australia, please take the opportunity here to see how people outside of your community play. Notice the similarities and differences and hopefully you’ll learn something you can apply within your own community. For my fellow Australians (said in a suspiciously POTUS voice…) have a look at what the other states and groups around the country are doing. We’re a relatively small country population wise but I think we punch well about our weight in the international blaster community. It’s time to give up with the infighting, yeah?

    So with all that out of the way, lets introduce you to today’s interviewees.

    From New South Wales we have Matt, admin with Sydney Nerf Wars, and Chris, admin with Riverina Dart Tag.
    From Victoria we have Grep, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf (AN).
    From Tasmania we have Alex, admin on Squadron of Foam Tasmania (S.O.F.T.).
    From South Australia we have FaytZero and Winterstrike, both Admins on Australian Nerf, and AJ, admin on Foam Sports.
    From West Australia we have Mohrlock, admin with West Nerf, and Stawsonia, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf.
    Nobody I could find in the Northern Territory
    From Queensland we have Rolley from Street Tag Warfare, Clunk of Clunk Weapons Co and an admin on OzNerf, and Girly Gamer from Nerfenstein.
    And from my home here in the Australian Capital Territory we have Neil, admin with Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag and Chris from Combustible Props.

    Each respondent was sent a series of 10 questions regarding their blaster usage and their thoughts on the Australian community. Here I'll run through the answers to the first two questions (full post here). Thanks again to all those involved. I know I sure found some of the responses particularly interesting and I hope you do too. Big thanks to all those who gave their time in responding; I really hope it improves our little corner of the world.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    ________________________________________________

    How did you first get into the hobby? When?
    What do you think most attracted you to it originally?


    Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
    It’s hard to say really. I was probably about 10 years old when I got my first Nerf Blaster (one of those old school SwitchShot Max things that did water and foam), but I’d wanted to play with Nerf blasters well before then. I believe my interest was sparked by the advertisements on TV showcasing how “awesome” Nerf really was. My parents didn’t want to spoil me too much though, so it took them a couple of years to buy me my first one. I lost interest in Nerf when I was about 12, but picked it back up again when I started my retail job and saw how much the blasters had changed. That was when I was 18!

    Originally, I just liked the idea of shooting projectiles. Being a 10 year old, you generally don’t think of much else with a gun shaped toy in your hand. If it shoots, that’s great! If it shoots far, that’s even better! When I was 18, it was more the look of the blasters that piqued my curiosity. They’d evolved into something that looked and felt more real. I liked that.

    FaytZero – SA AN
    I have been Nerfing for just over 5 years now, I started when I was 18 back in 2008. I turned up to my first war with a stock Long-Shot and AR’d Nite-Finder with rubber bands attached to the plunger rod to give it more power. I tagged along with 4 of my other friends who also had never played before, one of us found OZNerf and saw that there was a war is SA and well it took off from there.

    I always liked the concept of Nerf, same as paintball and Air-Soft but since Air-Soft is illegal and paintball was so expensive Nerfing was just a natural progression. I’m keen on projectile sports that involve tactics, team work and encourage physical activity. I was and am still very interested in the engineering aspect of Nerf, opening a blaster and seeing what you can do to improve it beyond it’s original design. There’s nothing more satisfying than spending a few hours crafting a masterpiece then using it in a war and seeing your hard work paying off.


    Chris – Combustible Props
    My first nerf blaster was a ‘Ye Old Maverick’ from ThinkGeek. When they were first released on that site (5-6 years ago) myself and a number of co-workers did a group buy of them so we could have a little fun in the office. I *really* got into the whole modding aspect when I bought my first Stampede for an Aliens M41A Pulse rifle prop I started about 2 years back (Note that this Pulse rifle still isn’t finished!). And by coincidence that was the time I started down the path to being a prop building.

    I have now worked on local movie called Theatre of the Dead and a large number of theatre productions with the ultimate aim of having my own small prop making business.

    I think at that time the nerf brand was limited to balls and things so seeing this cool little revolver style nerf blaster was sweet! That and the idea we all had to have inter-office wars.

    Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
    I think I first got in to it properly a few years ago when I stumbled upon the SG Nerf blog, and after reading about the tons of different blasters out there I was immediately like “WHOAH! There’s so many!” and started collecting!

    I think the ability to mod the hell out of them and the out of the box customisation is what really attracted me. I love working with my hands so modding was only a natural path to follow.

    Mohrlock – West Nerf
    It’s kinda a two-tailed story. I first got into Nerf sixteen years ago when my friend had got the original Nerf Bow & Arrow for his birthday. Naturally I had to get my hands on one that summer as well.

    I truly got into Nerf about 4 years ago by tangent searching the internet at work (as you do). Being the geek that I know I am, I ended up stumbling across the Humans Vs. Zombies forum and got hooked on the idea of eventually running the game in Western Australia. I’d already been into playing Dart Tag with velcro darts some years ago, but never heard of playing with Nerf on such a level. I started buying into the N-Strike range and things started to spiral out of control.

    I’m huge on RPGs of all varieties and have been for almost two decades now. I think the aspect of bringing Live Action Role Play (LARP) into a post-apocalyptic setting with foam blasters that are (generally) clip-fed said it all.

    Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
    I came in to the hobby fairly late in life. I was bought a Vulcan for my 30th birthday in 2010. Typically, I have to know how things work, and after a bit of googling, I came across OzNerf and NerfHaven.

    I’m a guy – we all like shooting stuff!! Really though, it’s the hands-on of modding that really sucked me in, which stems from my background as a rigger/boiler-maker.

    Grep – Victoria SLO AN
    About two years ago, my two oldest kids, both boys, wanted to buy Nerf guns to play real-life Counterstrike or similar at home. After arriving home and looking up “nerf guns australia” on the internet, they discovered (semi-)organised groups, which they then pestered me to take them to. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, and having a chance to spend time (a) outdoors and (b) with my teenage sons, I bought a Maverick, shortly followed by an Alpha Trooper, and joined in.

    Winterstrike – SA AN
    I’m not sure what did it, and it was about 6 years ago. I think we were just looking for an alternative to paintball/airsoft. I joined Oznerf about 3 months after it was created and talking with a few people on there got me to start modding.

    Something that I could play with my nephews and friends that was available. Again, if airsoft/paintball were available for 6 year olds, I would have gone down that path.

    Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
    I first got into the hobby while researching alternative forms of combat sports, like paintball and airsoft. This was back at the start of ’09. My first “real” war was in the middle of 2010 with a group of guys that we rounded up together. Finally, in the December of 2010, the West Nerf team finally started up, and had the first “Official” war, which was a blast.

    What originally attracted me was the ability to be able to play in a far wider variety of locations for cheaper than continually playing paintball or even laser tag. Always being a big fan of milsim, the useage of clips and slightly more realistic shapes also played into my involvement.

    Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
    Through a mate who was organising the now defunct CSU HvZ Group, Ash, about 4 1/2 – 5 years ago.

    The struggle to survive, and just how normal it felt to wander through public areas covered in foamy goodness.

    Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
    Back in early 2010 I was down the coast (Bateman’s Bay) with some friends for a few days and the brother of one of the girls brought down a Vulcan. It got a lot of use over the long weekend, and before I’d even left the coast I’d bought two from the local Kmart.

    Referring back to the first question the Vulcan seemed a lot of fun. It was big and pretty cool looking. But after a couple of weeks of the missus and I blasting each other and our respective house mates, it all got a bit boring. That’s when I started thinking ‘there must be more you can do with these’. A bit of internet searching later and I’d come across the OzNerf forums, and half a dozen noob questions later I’d found out about something called ‘HvZ’. Not only that but there was game coming up the following weekend at the Australian National University. By then I had a Raider too, so with that and my Vulcan I pitched up to the game. I had no idea what to expect, and realistically I had a pretty bad game my first time out, but it was enough to ‘catch the bug’.

    Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
    I bought my first Nerf back in July / August 2011. I got into modding them aesthetically a couple of weeks later when I thought it would be fun to try and paint a Tek blaster (didn’t want to ruin any of the Nerf lol).

    There was a big Nerf sale on and I thought my family would have fun if I bought a few…. I was right!

    AJ – Foam Sports
    I started back in early 2008, so almost 5 years ago now. The Recon had just hit Australian shores and a friend of mine showed me after he bought it. I went out and bought 2 recons and we had some good fun just shooting each other around the house. The same friend mentioned that he’d heard there was a website that showed you how to make them shoot further, and after a bit of searching I stumbled upon Nerfhaven and NHQ where my realy ‘nerf’ journey began.
    Nerf blasters have an intrinsic ‘cool’ quality about them; people generally think blasters are cool or novelty, but beyond that for me I liked the challenge of making the blasters perform beyond what they were designed to do. Adelaide Nerf Wars and any kind of social or competitive aspect really didn’t exist when I started, so it was all about modding the guns as best as possible and trash talking on American nerf forums.

    If I was just modding blasters on my own I really don’t think I would have kept it up for 5 years, so I’d like the take the time to mention and thank two guys – Tidge (or The Inventor Guy) and Chaos Blades (screen names obviously). They’ve both been into nerf for way longer than me, and I met them through Nerf Haven and started hanging out with them after I got into nerf. They took me in, taught me how to do some mods and are solely responsible for curing my ‘noobness’. We found a few more adelaide guys and started to have wars down here.

    Tidge and CB did dart hire before that was really a ‘thing’, they would let us borrow blasters because ours sucked.. it would inspire you to try harder, get better at modding and really helped the community get off the ground. This was right around the time OZnerf started getting more users and this ‘Adelaide Resurgence’ got a lot of attention and made other people start lifting their game, which grew over time into the Australia wide organised nerf scene we have today.

    Nerf without a community would be a sad thing, so I want to acknowledge these guys for their contributions both personally to my growth as a serious nerfer and modder, and also to the current overall scene which I believe is really built upon the foundations of their efforts back in 08/09.

    Alex – SOFT
    It’s actually a bit of a long story but I’ll *try* to keep it trim. I went to a relatives’ Christmas party in 2010. His son got a Nerf Vulcan, Maverick and a Nitefinder, and some kids around his age had some Mav’s and NF’s as well. My brother and I joined in for a backyard battle… and we were hooked xD
    But it wasn’t until about a month later in 2011 some of my friends came over to my place and we all discussed how we’d seen them at Xmas time… next thing I knew we were all out in the ute, filling the boot with Nerf loot
    Another aproximate-month passed and I found online communities, forums, and discovered modding. This combined with finding and joining a local Nerfing community that had just started up – it all snowballed (in a good way) from there on

    In the beginning stages I feel it was the novelty of having a unique kind of toy that I didn’t get to experience when I was a kid. In addition they are *toy guns* that actually fire *safe* projectiles; it doesn’t get much cooler than that for me! Although I enjoy laser skirmish based games, I constantly get frustrated with not being able to see epic headshots that I scored, or being able to tell who hit me from where… Nerf blasters changed this perspective for me, and furthermore proved to be a great sports activity with friends.

      Current date/time is Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 pm