MilSim is an abbreviation of Military Simulation, and refers to military simulations conducted by civilians for entertainment purposes. There are several forms of MilSim: airsoft games, paintball games, and video games simulating military scenarios and tactics.
Due to the unrealistic nature of the performance of airsoft and paintball weapons, they are not used in real-world training environments. Instead, specialized non-lethal ammunition or blanks are used in conjunction with infrared targeting systems. Airsoft and Paintball are not considered realistic by the US Department of Defense or major police departments for training purposes.
MilSim most often falls into two different categories: reenactment and simulation. Reenactments focus on a particular event in history and aim to provide the most accurate representation of the time period, events, and outcomes of the historical event. Simulation, however, may only focus on a particular time period and representation of which course a particular situation may have taken in history. In most cases a simulation event includes fictitious characters, groups, and political situations.
Airsoft is a sport in which individuals attempt to participate in the simulation of military combat also called MilSim or law enforcement-style combat.
Some Airsoft Teams specialize in Milsim and historical reenactment intended to get the participant "inside the head" of the characters from history. This gives participants a chance to pretend they are part of recent history. Occasionally airsoft groups have ex-military members seeking the camaraderie of their old units without the commitment, but they are rarely combat arms veterans. Due to the unrealistic performance of loading, firing, ballistics and sound of airsoft guns, there is actually very little realism. For example, an airsoft rifle is often battery operated, holds hundreds of plastic BBs, is very quiet, and only accurate for a hundred feet. Players are unable to engage opponents at realistic distances, and the lack of danger negates the simulation aspect of combat. Players also lack tactical training, and actual combat deaths and injuries mostly come from artillery and other explosives instead of small arms fire.
Airsoft has its roots in late-1980s East Asia, specifically Japan where firearms were difficult or impossible to obtain due to local laws, so people sought a legal alternative for enjoying their passion. Airsoft is still today most popular in several Asian regions, such as Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and to a certain extent, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The vast majority of airsoft guns, accessories and after market upgrade parts are also manufactured in these countries.
There is also a growing interest in North America and Europe, especially in the United States (with the largest groups in California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida), Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, Greece, Finland, Norway, Italy, Belgium (which is also visited by Dutch players, with the game recently having its launch in April 2013 with fields coming soon), Denmark, Ireland, Chile, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa, bolstered by an active and expanding Internet scene.
The United Kingdom's MilSim scene includes a number of airsoft event organizers who specialize in MilSim events run in conjunction with Live Action Role-Players (see LARP) at British Army training facilities such as Copehill Down and Catterick Garrison.
Paintball is a sport in which participants eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with paintballs, spherical gelatin capsules containing primarily polyethylene glycol, other non-toxic and water-soluble substances, and dye, shot from a compressed-gas-powered gun, commonly called a marker.
Paintball draws a wide array of players, and the Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association estimates that over 30 million people play annually in the United States alone. Insurance statistics show that paintball is one of the safest sports in existence, even more so than tennis.
Games can be played either indoors or outdoors and take various forms, of which some of the most popular are woodsball, scenario and speedball, also sometimes known as tourneyball under various circumstances. Rules for playing paintball vary widely, with most designed to ensure that participants enjoy the sport in a safe environment. The sport requires a significant amount of equipment and has even developed its own slang.
A game of paintball usually involves two opposing teams seeking to eliminate all of the other team's players or to complete an objective, such as retrieving a flag, eliminating a specific player, or other paintball variations. An average, non-professional game of paintball usually lasts around five minutes to half an hour. Since its inception, paintball has drawn a crowd of both casual and serious players.
- Warfighters Military Simulations - Warfighters Laser & Paintball MilSim
- MilSim Empire - Military Simulation Paintball and Airsoft resource
- Airsoftica - Airsoft milsim news site
- American Milsim - American MilSim Community Forums and Event Site
- Colorado Milsim - Airsoft Milsim event site & resources
- Canadian Airsoft Canadian Airsoft community
- Comunidad Airsoft Milsim - Spanish Airsoft Milsim Community
- Operation East Wind - Airsoft MilSim event
- MILSIM Goa - Milsim Tactical Paintball in India
- Milsim Community in India - Biggest Milsim Community in India.