I'm curious about those out there who also use/play airsoft, just how it fits into your modern survival lifestyle.
I use it on multiple levels.
1) Physical fitness
Most of the games I play are Milsims (military simulations) and typically require a fair bit of gear and walking through bush and, very rarely, CQB environments. I've found the better shape I'm in, the better I can perform on a physical level. So, for me, playing works both ways physically. First actually playing is a fair bit of exercise and by working out regularly, I become a better player, at least physically.
I've run a lot of games over the years ranging from 10 players to over 200, averaging about 50 players a game. The amount of planning for a large Milsim can be extremely challenging. Figuring out a scenario, how the gameplay should run, how the players can (and will) screw things up, how to recover from that, how one objective rolls into the next, etc. Then the logistical part of the game, arranging a field, posting on various forums, maintaining a player headcount, planning food for the BBQ (we always have a BBQ for our larger games), contacting local authorities to advise them of the game (if smoke is used. don't want anyone thinking the bush is on fire). I've even planned scenarios from one game that roll into a scenario in another game later in the year. This planning helps keep my mind always open to planning whatever I do and makes altering plans a bit easier on the fly.
3) Gear Selection
I am what we call in the airsoft community as a Gear Whore. I love tactical gear. All of my gear is high end, real manufacturers stuff, no Chinese clones for me. It's not an elitist thing either, I destroy gear unless it's good quality. I found out very quickly that buying low cost/low end gear, while cheap, costs in the long run. For example, I purchased a Chinese clone of an Eagle CIRAS (Combat Integrated Releasable Armor System) and promptly destroyed it an a couple of games. I currently have a real Eagle Plate carrier & cummerbund with Tactical Tailor pouches. I've had the loadout for several years and I have beat the crap out of the loadout and it still looks great. No ripped seams, not torn fabric. This spills over into everyday buying as it's taught me you get what you pay for. If you buy something because it's cheap, just remember, there's a reason why it's cheap.
4) Weapons Drills
In coordination with the gear, practicing drawing, slinging, holstering and mag changes. Do it enough with a particular setup and muscle memory sets in and you do in "instinctively".
As I said earlier, I'm a big Milsim player. Working together as a team to accomplish the games objectives is what the game is all about, not a "bodycount". It's even more challenging, and therefore, more rewarding as I usually have to play with guys I don't know that well (my local community is quite small, 12 players) and I have to travel to larger centers to play the bigger games. So there's always "trust" issues between teammates during the game until you get to know each other and your capabilities. You have to force yourselves to work together to achieve a common goal even though you don't really know what each other can do. It helps teach some patience (with newbies who are just learning) as well as how to handle personality conflicts on the field between players, sometimes on the same team. (oh, no! that never happens. lol)
As a game planner/admin, I'm by default, the leader of all on the field. Everyone looks to me for guidance on how the game gets run. I have to be fair to both sides, but firm when one side gains a decisive advantage an the other side wants me to "balance" the game, and I don't. Similarly, when I play and get assigned the role of squad leader or team leader/commander. I have to lead by example, and manage my resources properly. If I mismanage my resources (men, material, time), the team looks at me as a poor leader. If I do everything right, the team respects me more, even if we lose. This helps teach me to use all of my available resources to the best of my ability to achieve my objectives, whether it's capturing the opposing teams commander or planting a garden or eliminating my debt.
And, what I consider the most important lesson:
Airsoft is an honour based sport. Unlike paintball, there is no mark left on a player to indicate he/she has been hit. It's on the players honesty/integrity to call their own hits and to trust others will do the same. I will be the first person to admit, there are times I don't call my hits. I don't see them, I don't feel them, I don't hear them. I will say, if I even suspect I've been hit, I will call it. I insist on leading by example in the sport. Giving your word is the same thing on the level of integrity. If you say you're going to do something, do it! Don't pretend, don't back out. Do everything in your power to live up to your word.
There's probably more, but it's been a long day. Just wanted to get more of a discussion going.