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Airsoft is a combat game in which players attack opponents by shooting them with plastic pellets that are shot from an airsoft gun. Players use different kinds of airsoft guns, most based on real firearms, as well as realistic gear and realistic airsoft ghillie suits and accessories. Airsoft began in Japan, as an alternative for gun enthusiasts, because firearms are nearly impossible to own there. This is why the airsoft guns are such perfect replicas of actual firearms. There was a demand for a gun replica that could be used for practice. Airsoft is popular in Japan, Indonesia, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and China. It should come as no surprise that most of the airsoft guns, accessories, and after market upgrade parts made, are made in these places. Oddly enough, in these places, paintball is almost unheard of.

The game is illegal in the Netherlands, Denmark, Chile, and Argentina, among other places. In some of these places airsoft is considered a type of air weapon, or where copyright law forbids the replication of weapons. Some other countries have strict rules to regulate aspects of the game, such as maximum muzzle velocity, and special markings for the realistic looking toy weapons. Some players from the countries, where there is a ban on airsoft, go to nearby countries, where the sport isn't outlawed, to play. For instance, Dutch players, for whom airsoft is illegal in their home country of the Netherlands, sometimes go to the nearby country of Belgium, where the sport is accepted.

Airsoft is played within a large area where the objective is to shoot the members of the other team. When a player is hit, they are disqualified. Since the pellets leave no mark on the clothing of the players, they must be trusted to admit when they have been hit. Airsoft is growing in popularity in the United States as well as Europe.