THE CIVIC CENTRE looked like a battlefield, with two warring teams running towards each other from opposite sides, shooting and ducking foam bullets while yelling at each other to move forward or take cover.
As one player moved to the opposite end to take shelter behind one of the fences, his teammates shot as best as they could to cover him but he got shot by the enemy players.
As one of the marshalls called his name, he sadly walked away to the side and hoped for the best as his teammates continued their noble quest to avenge his ‘death’.
In the end, players from both teams were completely wiped-out, leaving no survivors. As Nerf quartermaster, Jerome Wei and the marshalls declared the round over, everyone quickly rushed to gather the scattered bullets on the ground before starting round two.
“Okay, ready, shoot!” shouted one of the marshalls, starting the next round as everyone started to shoot foam bullets at each other.
On a hot Sunday afternoon, May 11th, as much as over 20 teenagers and also some children as young as five years old gathered at Civic Center for the Maximum Cheong organised by Nerf Kuching from 2 to 4 pm.
Before starting, Jerome and the other senior players designated as marshalls set up three defense fences and called everyone up to reload their Nerf Blasters with foam bullets.
Equipped with Nerf Blasters, some with goggles and even a Nerf vest, these Nerf players looked like ready to do serious battle.
Nerf, an acronym for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam is actually a toy brand created by Parker Brothers and is now currently owned by Hasbro. While most of the toys made by Nerf are foam-based toy weaponry, the most popular ones are the dart guns or ‘Nerf Blasters’.
According to Jerome, the foam bullets can be filled in a magazine or the ammunition storage of the toy firearm, which can accommodate either 12 or 18 bullets per magazine.
Steve Edmund, 16, from St Joseph first got into Nerf blasters after he was introduced to it by his friend and fellow schoolmate Elcino William, 16, who has been involved with Nerf Kuching since earlier this year.
The idea of playing and shooting at people without getting hurt is also what attracts their other schoolmates to join the group, Yazied and Arznood.
“When you get hit by the bullet, it does not hurt at all, and besides we do it just for fun.” said Yazied, a recent member of the Nerf Kuching.
Since it’s not as obvious as paintball when it comes to proving or disproving that one has gotten hit, the players of Nerf Kuching go by an honour system where those who do get shot, should come clean and step forward.
Alexis Hung, 12, of SJK Chung Hua No. 1, has been playing for a year now and said she loves being a part of Nerf Kuching because it is a fun way to meet new friends and spend time doing a fun activity together.
“Nerf Kuching has only one mission, and that is to have fun. And by having fun mean, everyone enjoys themselves in this game, no one gets hurt, nobody argues and in the end, we’ll all have a good laugh, that’s it,” Jerome said, adding that keeping score was not important when playing Nerf.
While the games generally attract children and teenagers, do not be surprised to see adults enthusiastically popping in and joining every weekend. According to Jerome, those who would like to play in the advanced or adult levels have to be at least 16 and above as the game tends to get rougher, tougher and faster.
Feel like joining in the game? Then feel free to check out their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/nerf.kuching for more information about the games and group.