Two paintball guns are parked in the middle of a park in southern China.
As the sun sets, the two guns are positioned on either side of a small pond.
A man who is wearing a mask, an orange vest, and goggles walks by the guns.
The man is wearing one of the two pistols that the guns have been using for some time, and he says he is here to play paintball.
“I’m here to shoot,” he says.
A group of children and adults gather around the guns, who play with the guns and occasionally play with their own paintballs.
“The children are playing with the gun and playing with their paintballs,” says one of them, a boy who looks older than his 10-year-old age.
“They’re very good.
It’s very fun.”
In fact, the guns are among the best in the country, according to China’s National Fireworks Association.
But in recent years, many of the children are becoming increasingly bored with the games.
“These games are very boring for them.
They have so much fun playing the guns,” said Zhang Xiaohui, a local journalist who is in charge of the Chinese Association of Outdoor Games.
“If we’re serious about outdoor games, then we should do something to change this,” he added.
The country’s government is not making any effort to tackle the problem, but local authorities have started to crack down on people playing these games.
On June 8, local authorities in Zhejiang province, near Beijing, confiscated and fined five paintball players.
On May 29, the Guangzhou Municipal Government said that its authorities were cracking down on paintball and other outdoor games.
But this is a problem that is getting worse.
In August, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said that there were more than 1,000 cases of people using paintballs to injure people, according the China Daily newspaper.
This is not the first time the government has targeted paintball; in 2016, it banned use of paintball in schools.
In December, officials in the southern city of Dongguan fined seven people and confiscated more than 2,500 paintballs for playing on sidewalks.
According to the People’s Daily, the crackdown on paintballs has also led to people becoming more cautious.
“It is becoming a problem of caution,” Zhang Xiaofeng, the spokesman for the Chinese National Firework Association, told Al Jazeera.
“This is what we are talking about: the fear of using these weapons and the fear that they might harm others.”
For a long time, Chinese children have been playing paintball with their fathers and brothers, but this is not happening anymore.
Zhang Xiaochong is the president of the China Paintball Association.
He told Al-Jazeera that the game has become a “big taboo” in the Chinese culture.
“Parents are afraid of their kids using paintball,” Zhang said.
“And the children themselves are not used to playing with other kids and other people.”
“When we go out in public, it is very hard for us to be around other people.
And we feel a lot more isolated.
And so we have to use our paintballs as a way of escape.”
Paintball is a very popular hobby in China, where a big part of its culture is made up of playing with toys.
“In China, the most popular games are paintball games, and paintball has been a part of the culture since at least the late 19th century,” Zhang says.
It is an “international game” that is played in more than 100 countries, he said.
The games are played in indoor areas, on the street, in parks, and even on the beach.
In a country that has a long history of gun ownership, it makes sense for Chinese parents to look out for their children’s safety.
But some parents are also concerned about the game’s safety, and some parents have even started boycotting it.
Zhang says that there are now “several hundred” families that have decided to boycott paintball over safety concerns.
Some parents also believe that the games are unsafe.
“We do not want to hurt anyone, so why would we play paintballs?”
Zhang said, adding that the government should take action against these parents and businesses that sell paintball products.
He also believes that the authorities should consider banning paintball altogether.
“Chinese parents are the most important people in their childrens lives,” Zhang told Al Jazeera.
“But it is also very dangerous for children to be exposed to these games.”