Happy Friday everyone! Today we discuss the growing popularity and highly addictive past time called Laser Tag. Thanks for joining us for this episode of Nerdy by Nature.

Picture this. You and a few close friends standing tall, proud, and holding a laser rifle in hand, while you wait with anticipation to enter the arena.

laser tag entrance

All of sudden, the steel roll door lifts up exposing a smoke filled theatre filled with random placed walls, and an upper level crow’s nest–all glowing under the black lights and flashing lasers. We all scatter with haste and the game is on. I find a wall up on the left, down a corridor and crouch underneath a wall which had been cut out. With senses heightened, watching for movement at both entrances, I hold my gun out… waiting. Need to be alert. But, once I pull the trigger, I only have a few seconds to run out of range; but,  I must also avoid being shot by another player. Sound fun? You bet!

The last standing player with most kills is crowned the winner. If you haven’t had a chance to play this, you must. A simple way to think of Laser Tag, is that it is very similar in principle to first-person shooter video games, but a lot more interactive. Each player has a laser tag gun, wearing a sensor backpack and navigates essentially in a maze. A player then must try to ‘tag’ opposing players by shooting at the sensors on said backpack all while running (walking), crouching, crawling, and strafing.

laser tag arena example

Some laser tag game modes involve two or more teams, and sometimes it’s everyone for themselves. Just like in video games, there are a limited number of lives in Laser Tag, and so players must be accurate in their shots. It does take some practice for sure but you do have a few target areas that you can hit; chest, shoulders and gun. A laser tag shot is virtually invisible to see and moves at the speed of light using IR (Infrared), therefore does not use traditional lasers. The gun typically incorporates a LED light to mimic a laser but is for effect only. If you are ‘shot’, you cannot return fire for a few seconds, making it possible to get away.

I used to play Laser Tag regularly back in the 1990’s, but not as much today. I’m seriously thinking of making this a regular event with the rest of the crew. Since I was playing a lot of Wolfenstein 3D at the time, I found myself copying certain movements from the game. I just got so involved, that without thinking, I took on the role of Sergeant Blazkowicz as I moved positions through the maze-like arena.

I think the best part of Laser Tag is the ambience: dark, and smoky, like a laser light show in time to industrial music. The experience of it all conveys mystery and danger lurking at every turn. Not a super physical game but it does get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Great game, good exercise, and plenty of fun with friends.

What are your favourite memories from playing Laser Tag? Let us know on Twitter, or in the comments below!

Have fun,

– Chris

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