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Old 07-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
SamanthaBradford
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Default Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Hi everyone,

Earlier this summer, a neighbor's seven year old son was struck in the eye by a water cannon blast (toy) and partially blinded. Having watched the children play with these toys over the past several years, I can't say that I was surprised that something like this happened. While most activities for children involve some sort of rules or pre-defined (and therefore safer) goals, the use of water cannons involves something along the line of chaos. Blast your friend. Get blasted back. And repeat the pattern. Not only are the blasts of water very strong, especially at closer ranges, but some water cannons are quite strong in their construction and often become objects of accidental contact that can cause bruises, cuts, even fractures.

Personally, I've played with the children and really do enjoy these bigger, stronger water cannons. They are a great deal of fun, and I believe can be played with quite safely if used correctly (if it is alright with the moderators, I'm providing a link to www.waterblaster.com so that everyone can see the type I'm talking about).

The problem, I believe, is that no definative rules, goals, objectives, and so forth, exist for the use of these toys. At least none that I can find. I'm not much of a "game creator", I'm sorry to say, or I would have done so by now. Preaching to children about the dangers of things doesn't always work out the way it should...because they are innocent and don't remember things very well when caught up in the moments of chaotic fun.

What I have in mind is to collect as many game or activity ideas as possible, with rules that are part of the game. In other words, the safety would be built-in. I believe that children would pay attention to the rules if they were incorporated this way, and the rules would help protect the children against harming themselves or others. It is not so simple as having them all wear protective eyewear, which we've tried, because close range shooting often washes the eyewear askew or completely off.

If you would be kind enough to relay your experiences about fun activities with water cannons, and include rules, objectives, and so forth, I will compile the collection and publish it everywhere possible. Maybe together we can all help to protect other children from harm. I hope so.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
C-A_99
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Avoid giving kids access to hoses (for shooting) and powerful blasters if they deliberately keep trying to shoot each other in the face. As for games, they are trickier to setup for a less mature audience, but it is still possible to try games such as hide-and-go-capture CTF (capture-the-flag) games. To do such a game, you could have an adult on each team hide the flag (with pre-agreed rules for how the flag is hidden, such as within certain areas) and them have the teams go find them. For rules such as attacking others while refilling, they can be changed depending on what you feel is suitable for those playing, but few prefer to prohibit attacking those who are refilling due to the strategic nature of the games as well as for loopholes. (i.e. Most water guns can still shoot while refilling.)

Most of the community plays hit based games, each group with their own rules. However, these games may not be suitable for children, particularly those who seem to go out of their way to shoot each other in the face.

In any case, there are lots of game ideas out there; no "game creator" or universal "system" for making rules, but attempts have been made. I have almost a system myself, but it's more of a way of thinking that enables me to create a variety of games/rules. Thing is, experience is really the only way to go when setting up rules, as every group will have their own playing area, players, etc. to deal with.

Team games should be good for kids; it may even teach them teamwork skills and what not, which laser tag venues like to brag about.

More on blaster safety, after a certain age, it becomes a very trivial or virtually nonexistent issue. However, if those playing are too young and/or too immature, then be aware of the performance of the water blasters being given to them. Unfortunately, you may have to avoid pressurized water blasters (allowing only the weakest pressurized blasters) and stick to piston pumpers, depending on the situation. It's important to note that safety is not limited to blaster capabilities and maturity, it is also physical development. Those who are more developed can better withstand water blaster shots to the face and have better reflexes to avoid them, which is primarily why blaster safety is not a concern amongst older players. Usually after 10-12yrs+, it's not a problem, but I'm not completely sure.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by C-A_99
Avoid giving kids access to hoses (for shooting) and powerful blasters if they deliberately keep trying to shoot each other in the face. As for games, they are trickier to setup for a less mature audience, but it is still possible to try games such as hide-and-go-capture CTF (capture-the-flag) games. To do such a game, you could have an adult on each team hide the flag (with pre-agreed rules for how the flag is hidden, such as within certain areas) and them have the teams go find them. For rules such as attacking others while refilling, they can be changed depending on what you feel is suitable for those playing, but few prefer to prohibit attacking those who are refilling due to the strategic nature of the games as well as for loopholes. (i.e. Most water guns can still shoot while refilling.)

Most of the community plays hit based games, each group with their own rules. However, these games may not be suitable for children, particularly those who seem to go out of their way to shoot each other in the face.

In any case, there are lots of game ideas out there; no "game creator" or universal "system" for making rules, but attempts have been made. I have almost a system myself, but it's more of a way of thinking that enables me to create a variety of games/rules. Thing is, experience is really the only way to go when setting up rules, as every group will have their own playing area, players, etc. to deal with.

Team games should be good for kids; it may even teach them teamwork skills and what not, which laser tag venues like to brag about.

More on blaster safety, after a certain age, it becomes a very trivial or virtually nonexistent issue. However, if those playing are too young and/or too immature, then be aware of the performance of the water blasters being given to them. Unfortunately, you may have to avoid pressurized water blasters (allowing only the weakest pressurized blasters) and stick to piston pumpers, depending on the situation. It's important to note that safety is not limited to blaster capabilities and maturity, it is also physical development. Those who are more developed can better withstand water blaster shots to the face and have better reflexes to avoid them, which is primarily why blaster safety is not a concern amongst older players. Usually after 10-12yrs+, it's not a problem, but I'm not completely sure.

I want to thank you for the response, how thoughtful and informative. I've been trying for feedback on this subject all over the internet, and you are the first person to lend your time and thought in a meaningful way.

I've got kids at home right now, so I can't respond very well right now. But I promise to get back to you later, ok?

Thanks again,

Samantha
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

The link she posted to were piston pumpers. Your posts bring up a topic that we rarely see here: a plee for weaker blasters. Anything from hasbro other than the hydro cannon should do fine.

These guns you mentioned are entirely dependant on the user. With children, I can't imagine the amount of force is too great. While the hasbro line would work fine, the smaller guns from Buzz Bee toys are what I recomend, simply to support the hard working underdog. Hasbro does not deserve customers. However, they may better suit your needs, and it is your choice. The super soaker line, while despised here, would be your best bet. They may also be more fun in that you can move around for a while, not having to run back to the bucket.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

The easiest way to discourage face shots (other than outright banning them) is to give the players some incentive to aim elsewhere. One simple idea is to have each person wear a target on the chest or back that is easily destroyed by water - why aim for the face when there's a big red target on their chest? Other methods include rules like having to return to one's "side" to respawn if their shirt gets totally soaked. That way a shot to the head accomplishes nothing, while a shot to the shirt gets the enemy closer to having to go back to their base.

Of course, the "carrot" approach does not always work, so have the "stick" ready as backup. Even very rowdy kids will listen to an adult ref, especially if you dress like one and carry a whistle, for then it feels like a sport. Kids love to break adults' rules, but will generally respect a sport's rules. The more it feels like an organized game with boundaries, cones, bases, objectives, marked sides, etc, the more they should take the rules seriously. The hardcore rule breaker could be punished for face shots by having to sit out the next game. No kid likes to sit out while everyone else is having fun. Another less harsh method of punishment is to "downgrade" their weaponry. Give them a weak little squirt pistol and tell them they can have their good gun back when they can demonstrate a little more maturity with it. The players in aggregate provide the teeth behind this punishment naturally because the kid will now be at a huge disadvantage and get totally soaked.

Finally, you could change the soakers if there are too many issues to rectify with rule changes. The power of piston pumpers like those rises with the strength of the user. They will only get more potent over time as the kids grow older and stronger. PR, air pressure, and low end CPS guns deliver streams that are softer and slower.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Long post parade. hasbro's (no I'm never going to capitalize that until they makedecent guns) current line would do you well.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by DX
The easiest way to discourage face shots (other than outright banning them) is to give the players some incentive to aim elsewhere. One simple idea is to have each person wear a target on the chest or back that is easily destroyed by water - why aim for the face when there's a big red target on their chest? Other methods include rules like having to return to one's "side" to respawn if their shirt gets totally soaked. That way a shot to the head accomplishes nothing, while a shot to the shirt gets the enemy closer to having to go back to their base.

That's a wonderful idea, thank you so much. One thing: what do you mean by "respawn"?
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

They have to return to a designated area before they can continue playing... A reference to modern video games, namely the first-person shooter style games where when your character is defeated, you automatically reappear at your "home base" before continuing the attack.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Re- again, spawn- form, start. We hav our lingo, like everybody. Ours is a collectionn from other things, for the most part.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

I am taking this very seriously, mainly because I want to see the hobby of water warfare grow and become more fun for future generations. If people get injured, then more of the sport will die off.

I would really use the teaching method of relatable examples. This in my book means that you use case studies that they can relate to e.g. someone around their age who has experienced the eye injuries you are trying to prevent.

If this won't reach the children, maybe new standards have to be shown to the parents. They, after all, are the buyers almost 100% of the time, even if it is on behalf of their children. If we can show them the proper way to prevent trauma or injuries, then, because they are the ones who have to enforce the rules anyway, more injuries can be prevented.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeda.beta
I am taking this very seriously, mainly because I want to see the hobby of water warfare grow and become more fun for future generations. If people get injured, then more of the sport will die off.

I would really use the teaching method of relatable examples. This in my book means that you use case studies that they can relate to e.g. someone around their age who has experienced the eye injuries you are trying to prevent.

If this won't reach the children, maybe new standards have to be shown to the parents. They, after all, are the buyers almost 100% of the time, even if it is on behalf of their children. If we can show them the proper way to prevent trauma or injuries, then, because they are the ones who have to enforce the rules anyway, more injuries can be prevented.

Thank you zeda.beta for a very thought provoking response.

I agree that parents are a big part of this, because we're talking about children, not teenagers or adults. But what I want to do is give the parents some help in creating a program of games that have safety built-in.

For example, you wouldn't send your ten year old out to hunt with a gun the very first time they use one. Even after the basics about handling a .22, they are taken to a shooting range or to pop cans off posts. That in itself is fun, but it is fun with training and safety built-in. Maybe that's a lousy example, but you get the idea.

Imagine: games for water cannons where the games themselves are teaching and instilling safety. The idea of wearing something on the back, like a target for example. If the child hits the target, its a score. If they hit the front or face, there is a fun penalty.

I don't know, but I'm getting there. And you all here, on this forum, are giving me some great ideas. Thanks so much.

Samantha
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

The problem with that is that the front is completely invulnerable. Think about it. If you attacked, shooting at you would result in penalization. Not fun. You would have to sneak around behind, easier said than done.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

In addition to much of the above, I recommend the following links.
Water Warfare on the iSoaker.net wiki - outlines many things regarding building interest to hosting a game
To Administrate a Water War - also covers hosting the game
Water Warfare Combat Rules - a very flexible (though complicated) all-purpose rule set put together by several members of the online water warfare community
Water Warfare Games - covers many common game ideas with more detailed game descriptions

Hopefully, you also find useful info therein.

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Old 08-04-2011, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Help Finding Water Cannon Games

Quote:
Originally Posted by isoaker_com
In addition to much of the above, I recommend the following links.
Water Warfare on the iSoaker.net wiki - outlines many things regarding building interest to hosting a game
To Administrate a Water War - also covers hosting the game
Water Warfare Combat Rules - a very flexible (though complicated) all-purpose rule set put together by several members of the online water warfare community
Water Warfare Games - covers many common game ideas with more detailed game descriptions

Hopefully, you also find useful info therein.


I will check these out. Thanks a bunch, and I'll get back to you as soon as I've finished going over the content.
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