LGLF Nerf Team

The Road to Bad PR is Paved With Good Intentions

November 25th, 2010
By Langley

Nerfers and Nerf Modders have gotten some (arguably) bad press lately, and the reaction has been, for the most part, “That’s what you get for talking to the press.”  This is a sentiment that I can totally get behind.  However, the attitude that certain people have expressed compels me to remind everyone that it’s not us that are doing something wrong, it’s the media.

Unfortunately for our community, the press has everything to gain by pandering to outraged parents, and nothing to loose by upsetting outraged nerfers. For that reason alone you should never do anything to entice anyone from the mainstream media to focus on your nerf war, or your modifications, or your website.  They will find the one one thing which, when taken out of context, can leave you with your pants down.

At the same time it’s important to remember that we really haven’t got anything to hide.  Anyone who looks at that CBS piece with a critical eye will see that a caring mother took time out of her day to express to that reporter how proud she is of a son who’s taking part in a really great hobby.  As futile an effort as that may have been, I think it’s far more telling than any youtube video of some moronic teenager doing something irresponsible in their basement.  So if you came to this site or to NerfHaven looking for more dirt on the evil scourge of Nerf Modification, feel free to take a look around.  All you’ll find is a tight community of people who are involved in a hobby that’s about half as dangerous as high school football, with about ten times the benefit.

Nerfing promotes a certain type of out-of-the-box thinking that you won’t find in other sports. Young people who come to NerfHaven often build an appreciation for tinkering, and learning a craft.  Many develop an interest in Physics and Engineering, or develop skills that they can go on to use in a profession or trade. Others who were never interested in athletics or the outdoors will find they are pushing themselves harder physically than ever before. All will gain a sense of sportsmanship and fair play, because the teams are never permanent and your opponent one moment may be your ally the next–a practice you will seldom find on high school and college athletic fields

As for safety concerns, eye protection is mandatory at nearly all events.  Nerf blasters and ammunition that are considered unsafe are prohibited, and standards for safety are encouraged throughout the community.  With respect to some of the footage seen in the CBS piece, we don’t tolerate needle darts or other idiotic and unsafe practices here.  The sort of kids who would make that junk are more likely to be found cooking meth in their parents basement than planning and hosting a Nerf War on this site, and it is absurd to lump their antics in with our community.

So no, if the temptation strikes you, don’t call the press about your Nerf War.  And if some ‘journalist’ sticks a mic in your face and starts asking leading questions, don’t hesitate to walk away.  But never forget that you are a part of an awesome community that you can take pride in.  A community that has nothing to offer the press, but nothing to hide from it either.

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