War games

“Yeah, those little BBs can really hurt,” Marine Corps veteran Carl
Lostracco said as he watched the teenager wipe the blood away.

later, Lostracco caught a small, plastic BB in the cheek and winced
back into cover as his men continued to defend their position during an
AirWolf E.A.S. simulation mission.

teams used Airsoft rifles and pistols — BB guns tricked-out to look
like military weapons — in missions to recover captured personnel or
disarm improvised explosives.

gets a chance to learn how to lead a fire team, and it all helps the
younger players get a sense of community, command structure and
respect,” Lostracco said.

is sponsored by local dealer T.A. Airsoft, 400 S. Vermont, and weapons
can range from $125 to $350. Eye protection is a must, and most wear
padding to dull the BBs’ sting. Open-arena free-for-alls cost $15 and
last up to five hours. More complex operations are $20 to $25. For more
information, call 210-1186.

John Hubbard, manager of Avid Extreme Sports, 2622 N. Moore in Moore,
said Airsoft is growing rapidly, and now at the level of popularity
where paintball was 20 years ago.

is the most fun you can have with anybody,” he said. “It’s an
adrenaline rush and it gives you these memories with your friends where
you can, years later, still be sharing war stories.”

Yeah, those little BBs can really hurt.
—Carl Lostracco

Hubbard insisted the sport is approachable
for any level of player, and being hit by a paintball isn’t any worse
than being popped with a towel.

“That’s the best thing about the sport: Anyone 10 years to 60 years old can play,” he said.

A basic setup to just get on the field will run about $150, not including paintballs.

If projectiles flying at your face at hundreds of feet per second isn’t
your bag, consider laser tag to get the taste of combat without the
bruising or bloodletting. HeyDay Family Fun Center, 3201 Market Place in
Norman, has video games, miniature golf and a ropes course. But Brian
Burks, general manager, said the laser-tag arena is the biggest

“It’s a fun game. It
will be different every time you play it, and it is more physical than
you think it’s going to be,” he said. “They are constantly moving the
entire time, hiding, getting a better position as they move up and down
the levels. By the time they come out, they are sweating.”

arena is 7,000 square feet with two levels, and sessions run 30 minutes
for four games. Each session is $12, but the more you play, the cheaper
each becomes. HeyDay also hosts tournaments and team-building

“You are never out of the game.

a points-based game and you get a score at the end,” Burks said.
“That’s what people enjoy the most, so that’s what we play 99 percent of
the time. There are more complicated games we can play, but when most
people go in, they don’t want to think a whole lot. They just want to
have fun.”

Photos by Mark Hancock

Charles Martin

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