Airsoft is an activity which is used for recreation or military training and is similar to paintball. Paintball as you may know shoots pellets from a special paintball gun which paints or stains a color on the clothing of the person who is hit, while airsoft pellets do not color the attire of the person who is hit.
Airsoft war can be considered as being very similar to tactical video games such as the popular Counter-Strike or Call Of Duty where teams compete against each other in various scenarios including Capture The Flag and bombing scenarios. As airsoft is designed to be realistic the weapons used are almost identical to actual weapons in overall dimensions and even in the number of rounds per clip if you so desire.
Though you may be able to find some paintball guns that are somewhat realistic in dimensions usually the weight and number of rounds that are available for paintball is what made it more a pastime sport for civilians. While airsoft, though used by civilians is also the choice of police and military personnel for simulations and training.
The realism which is offered by airsoft war is used by both police and military personnel for training purposes to simulate different scenarios and plan tactical strategies. Due to the fact that airsoft is an activity not restricted to military personnel only different terms have been coined for the different types of activities which can be done with airsoft.
For real-life simulated events where tactical maneuvers, military attire, actual or limited ammunition are used and military or police personnel train the term used is MilSim which is short for Military Simulation. Another term used is “skirmish” or “open day” where realism is usually negated and allowances are made for things such as high-capacity magazines and the use of any kind of camouflage attire is allowed.
Another modification to airsoft war is termed Live Action Role Playing where additional rules are added to make the setting somewhat similar to the videogames. Where rules about the number of hits to kill an opponent and armor and even more unrealistic enhancements like supernatural abilities are endowed upon players.
As airsoft pellets do not paint the target, players must rely on an honor-based system where the person who is shot will announce that he or she has been hit and then move from the battlefield back to the safe zone. In order to avoid being shot by other players the person who is moving back to the safe zone will usually carry a flag, flashlight or beacon to indicate that he or she is no longer a part of the game or hold his or her weapon up over their head.
Airsoft pellets unlike other pellets also have bio-degradable variations which can be used if players so choose. These bio-degradable rounds are meant to have little impact on the environment as opposed to the traditional plastic rounds which may be difficult to retrieve after a few rounds are played.