Playing at War delves into the phenomenon of war simulation, exploring its intricate connections to military culture, identity formation, and broader societal dynamics. I aim to initiate critical dialogue and reflection on the impact of this trend on warrior culture, desensitization to violence, religion, patriotism, and the diverse motivations behind participating in such activities.
The series centers around Rockingham Airsoft and Tactical Support (RATS), a Christian-rooted organization in Reidsville, North Carolina, where members engage in airsoft games at a deserted elementary school bought by the owners of RATS. These games involve participants donning authentic military gear and using realistic replica firearms that shoot non-metallic pellets. While on the surface, it may seem like a mere recreational activity, Playing at War seeks to unravel the complex layers underlying this form of play.