A Nerf war is a competitive sport or activity involving Nerf Blasters or other foam-firing toy weapons. The term covers a wide range of games and gatherings, from informal shootouts in offices and basements to well-organized outdoor battles with high-powered modified blasters. Since foam-firing guns are relatively safe and cheap, Nerf wars can include participants and battlefields otherwise unsuitable for airsoft and paintball.
Nerf wars can take place anywhere. Any area with a good balance of open space and cover can be a candidate. Basements, offices, and backyards are common locations for informal games. For larger wars with more participants, bigger venues like gymnasiums, public parks, forests, ravines, and schools make good playing areas. The inside of a large hall such as a church may be turned into a battlefield by turning tables onto their sides. When planning a Nerf war in a public area, the organizer typically reserves the space and watches out for non-participants to reduce any liability. The ability to play in free locations is an important element of a Nerf war's accessibility.
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Informal wars are usually ad hoc games played in an office or backyard. These are usually all-out free-for-alls that break out spontaneously and last until the supply of darts has run out. Informal wars in a workplace are a cheap and exciting relief from daily tedium, and an interesting method to build camaraderie.
Organized wars are usually more intense, larger in scale, and well-publicized. Typically planned in advance by a group of friends, a Nerf club, or the Nerf Internet Community, these battles are held in large public areas, attract Nerf hobbyists, and usually have standardized rules. Because the games are more competitive and the battlefield larger, blasters are usually modified for increased range.
Internet Community NERF Wars
Many wars across the United States are organized and promoted through the forums of enthusiast sites like OzNerf, NerfRevolution, Nerfhaven, NerfHQ, Foam Universe, and Heart of Nerf. The members of these forums are collectively known as the Nerf Internet Community, or NIC. The NIC holds large annual wars on both the East Coast and West Coast of the United States and certain locations even have bi-annual or monthly wars. All around Australia there are wars as well, and a yearly event called Reign Of Foam. Some colleges and youth groups have active clubs and associations that host Nerf Wars regularly.
Rules of participation are set by the war's hosts to create a safer and more balanced game. Over time, the NIC has centered on a widely accepted set of standard rules, regulations, and game types.
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