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Why I Love Nerf

Even though I haven't touched a gun in two years.

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#1 zaphodB

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 09:45 PM

I feel like this little piece needs some background. I may not have been a part of the community since it's inception, but I grew up in the 90's, the heyday of nerf. My parents were fairly liberal, particularly when it came to guns. My mom was from boston, so she wanted nothing to do with them. In fact, I had no toy weapons at all growing up, until such time that I could construct them on my own out of legos. So it was a magical moment for me that, one christmas eve at a cousin's house, I discovered a chainblazer. It jammed, and only had a few darts, and was noisy and probably broken, but to me, it was awesome.

It woke something in me. I became enamored with projectiles. All through my childhood I build bows, blowguns, marble launchers, and absurd paper airplanes. It wasn't the killing aspect that intrigued me. Rather, it was the mystery, almost the magic of sending an object flying away from me in a predictable manner. Even when I was building bows and making arrows out of honeysuckle shoots, it was never with the intent to hurt anything. It was some elusive skill that I wanted to have.

As I grew older, the desire stayed with me. But the rules my parents set up for me were still in effect. They didn't have a problem with me making things, but purchasing a firearm, even a toy one as innocuous as a nerf gun, paralleled in their minds to hero-worshiping murder. It was after I could drive, and after I had already mastered a blowgun that shot 6 inch steel needles at ludicrous speeds, that I finally worked up the courage to sneak home a nerf gun. It was a maverick.

It wasn't anything special. It had the same problems all mavericks do. It jammed. It was weak. You couldn't put tagger darts in it. It was noisy. But I loved the damn thing because it was the next step for me and my understanding of projectiles. I hid that gun from my mother for months, and when she finally found out about it, she was legitimately angry with me. I couldn't explain the projectile thing to her, so I made up some story about modifying it as practice for becoming an engineer.

So, I arrived here. It was the end of 2006, I think, so right at the beginning of the n-strike line. Modifications were different then. FA_24 and Slug were both regular member, albeit talented modders. But by and large, the hobby was still mostly held together with duck tape and hot glue. My first few modifications were almost on the razor's edge of advancement; I was one of the first people to add a dtg to a longshot. I'm not here to brag. That was the only modification I was ever really proud of, and it wasn't even that good.

But I think the fact that I'm not proud of any of my modifications is worth looking at, because it speaks to something that has gone sour in this community. Somewhere along the line, we stopped being a website of people celebrating the simple and childish fun of pelting each other with silly plastic toys, and changed into some sort of mutant connoisseurs of hasbros products. We're nerf HIPSTERS now, for christ sakes. We put on our ray-ban glasses and ironic flannel vests, pour ourselves into skin tight jeans and purple all-stars and say things like "the vulcan? Sure, it's an interesting gun cosmetically, but the lack of modification potential makes it, at best, a substandard gun practicality-wise, especially when it's weight and battery power are taken into account."...

Really, guys? Really? It's a fucking toy belt fed machine gun! It holds 25 darts, and shoots them at the push of a button, pelting your little brother, your cat, your mom, your dog, and your goldfish with foam darts all without having to reload! At what point did we decide that that wasn't FUCKING AWESOME?

We've lost our souls. We're turning this hobby into a series of highly competitive battles with modification based cock-waving in between. We demand excellence and optimization in a hobby that is inherently ridiculous and haphazard! There's nothing wrong with creating a highly efficient, accurate blaster. The Doomsayer and the +bow, to name a couple, are works of art in their design and their effectiveness. But we are too quick to make those blasters the standard by which we judge other modifications.

I think it's time to be a little less elitist. So, for me, this is an all inclusive salute to all the guns that we all labeled as shitty. All the duct tape and marker guns. All the sticky black paint job guns. All the ball guns and converted super soaker guns and made-out-of-wood guns. Because before the topic for each of these guns was posted, the person behind them was proud. Lets remember where we came from. Whether your modifications are for form or function, remember that the most important is fun. Don't let anyone else's retarded concept of good mar your own.
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#2 CA13

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:17 PM

I just think the purest Nerf weaponry is anything that can launch darts with a max range of 40 feet and 4 darts per "load". I hate the longshot, hate the +bow (mostly aesthetics and ergonomics) and I really wish Nerf had stopped at the maverick. It was the last gun they had tried not to make some "tactical" shit out of, just a fucking crazy revolver that looked like a mix between every sci-fi movie prop gun. I really wish Nerf could try to release retro blasters (like they had done with the Super-Soaker line last year) and kept the "tactical" shit out of the equation, for the airsoft kids who are compensating for something. Fuck, why do they even try? I think if they made guns and used their own promotional line (like SuperMAXX) slaying dragons with foam darts and shit, they could attract more people rather than turning Nerf (albeit inherently) into a competitive sport.
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Doing this as I speak. I have no idea when I got it...my DAD got it some 15 years ago, but that doesn't matter. Anyways, it keeps jerking around all over the place. I try to hold it with a rag...It doesn't look like...much.

#3 glamdringguy15

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:29 PM

Excellently written. I think you have an excellent point. I nerf mostly with some younger kids in my neighborhood who don't modify their guns. The first time I showed one of them how to take out the air restrictors on a maverick, he had an expression of awe on his face. Just that 5 or so feet added to the range made it more fun. I owned a Longshot for a number of years. The most use I ever got out of it was either as a fun prop or as a pretend weapon for the kids in my neighborhood because it looked like a sci-fi battle rifle. That's when I realized that I don't have to own a crossbow. I don't have to own a +bow. I don't need a Lock n Load. Nerf is about having fun and keeping the kid (albeit weapon obsessed kid) in us alive. Let's focus on that instead of on whether we can induce welts on our friends.
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QUOTE(Draconis @ Jun 17 2010, 01:56 PM) View Post

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#4 nate the great

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:31 PM

Yeah Nerf is trying to turn it into a competitive sport. If you go on their website they have a "Dart Tag League" or something. Its really sad, they film kids that are around 13-16 run around with a toy gun and say its a "competitive sport"
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#5 princexbuster

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:38 PM

HEY! My allstars are green!

But in all seriousness, that was a beautiful post. I hope to see more people share this point of view. I come from a different background ( I played with a broken twenty two I found on a mountian in west virginia) but I to share a love of making things fly.
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#6 Whisper101

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:51 PM

Zaphod, I really have to agree wth you. Your "competitive sport" points are beatiful, ina completely theoretical way. I do not attend wars, because frankly, my parents do not let me. They encourage the modification and planning that goes into modification or makign a homemade but shooting the finished product is not their thing. It's not mine either. I Nerf for one reason; because of the feeling you get after having completed a gun that YOU like, that looks damn sexy, even WITHOUT (gasp!!) a paint job, and that hurls little foam darts gajillions of feet. I like to test myself to see how well I can make peices of plastic and whatever else we throw into our guns work together to achive great ranges. And I am not interested in those ranges because an extra ten feet that the gun shoots doesn't mean that I can stand even farther away from the field of battle at a war and be an ass trying to pick peopl off from 50-60+ feet, or so that I can brag about 'em to my friends. Nope, it's for sheer joy that I nerf, because I enjoy taking things apart, enhancing them, and well, moving on to the next project. That's the reason that I still nerf even after most of my frirends have moved on; because I like to see a stefan fly off into the distance, never to be see again, and think: "damn, I MADE it do that!"

I also, however, enjoy pumping 25 shots out in under a minute; the only reason I do not currently own a vulcan is that I also do nnot currently have any money.

I don't compete with others on the nerf battlefield, I dominte imaginary foes.........bitch!

Whisper out...
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#7 VelveetaAvenger

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:58 PM

Yeah Nerf is trying to turn it into a competitive sport. If you go on their website they have a "Dart Tag League" or something. Its really sad, they film kids that are around 13-16 run around with a toy gun and say its a "competitive sport"


If Dart Tag League became a real sport that would be awesome, not sad. And it would work, because the teams and games would be far more structured and they have referees to enforce the rules. It works the same for every other sport out there, and when you get too competitive playing hockey or tennis or ultimate frisbee with your buddies it sucks just as much as Nerf does. Some people having the ability to play competitively wouldn't stop the rest of us from being able to enjoy "pickup" games on our own.

We're nerf HIPSTERS now, for christ sakes. We put on our ray-ban glasses and ironic flannel vests, pour ourselves into skin tight jeans and purple all-stars and say things like "the vulcan? Sure, it's an interesting gun cosmetically, but the lack of modification potential makes it, at best, a substandard gun practicality-wise, especially when it's weight and battery power are taken into account."...


I also wanted to say that this is hilarious, and hopefully more people think about the dirty hipsters they've become when they start dissing a fun blaster.

Edited by VelveetaAvenger, 19 February 2010 - 11:02 PM.

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#8 Talio

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 11:53 PM

This is not a blog. The point you've made has been made before you so many times I can't even think about it anymore.
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