My sons and I have been doing battle recently and our apartment is awash in a sea of Nerf darts. I must say there’s something very satisfying about getting a hit with a Nerf gun – it’s just the right line between enough of a hit to know you’ve been tagged and no one losing an eye.
There are of course two inevitable geeky responses when you start playing with something like Nerf. The first is to check out the entire range that’s available for upgrades. The second is to look at how you can modify what you’ve got to make it even more powerful [insert creepy megalomaniac laugh here].
There’s a great local site called Urban Taggers (beautifully subtitled Apartment Wars: because conflict doesn’t always have to hurt) that collates all the latest news on Nerf. In fact the news is so fresh that Hasbro, who make Nerf, threatened the site owner with all sorts of ugly stuff if he didn’t reveal his sources. Crikey has an entertaining article on Martyn Yang’s attempts to placate Hasbro and their lawyers by explaining how he got his information from the Internet, and how maybe they should try that too.
Anyway the Nerf range clearly grows apace in both size and complexity; and I can see where my kids pocket-money is likely to decrease in direct proportion. That said, I’m not a great fan of the automatic options or the ones with big magazines. I’m more of your Napoleonic wars era Nerf soldier with muzzle-loading guns the norm. It seems to me that there is something safely limiting about having to reload and re-cock the gun after every shot. There’s no skill in just coming in and firing blindly in a point-and-spray approach. Nerf gun subtlety - that’s what I’m after.
Subtlety, however, is what is seriously lacking in many of the Nerf gun mods you can contemplate. Do a Google search on modding Nerf guns and you come up with a myriad of hits ranging from the sublime to the simply lethal. Some are just beautiful modifications of cases so they look like a steampunk gun or Flash Gordon blaster. Some add range, accuracy or speed – one can shoot 1500 darts in a minute (imagine the boredom in reloading that). Some border on the crazy with darts modified to be little less than bullets. The list goes on. Rather frustratingly much of this is done in the US and involves measurements and items not easily available in Australia.
That’s where The Beginners Guide to Modding Nerf Guns in Australia comes in. Written by GirlyGamer, aka Nerfenstein, it’s a great description of how to make cosmetic changes to Nerf guns using Australian materials. Her results clearly demonstrate what a talented individual she is.
For the moment though I’m taking my store-bought, completely unmodified, single-shot Nerf gun and going into battle – there’s a fortress in the dining room that needs to be dealt with.