Laser tag. The most advanced game we have until Futuresport becomes real. It’s also the best of all the tags. It goes laser, freeze and then original recipe. Most of us got our first taste of laser at a kid’s birthday party sometime in the 90’s. You can’t stop progress and this is our next phase so we better get used to it. Behold the ScoreBoredSports guide to laser tag.
My personal laser tag story started at Laser Quest off John R road in the magical land of Michigan. I played under the name “the big red shanker” and I was above average. I knew to wait for chumps around corners but I still ran head first into traps because I was just a kid, with a laser gun.
This will change from place to place but it’s all basically the same stuff. A wearable torso piece with multiple sensors. Normally on chest, back and both shoulders. And a laser gun. This is the simple genius of this sport. You get a fucking laser gun. Game over, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. The guns will vary from make and model but they are single shot weapons with a medium barrel length that are fairly well-balanced. It’s also a simple point-and-click interface that even a child can figure out. So watch out, because a kid will probably snipe you.
Special note, some laser tag facilities have guns that will only fire when both hands are on the weapon. One on the handle, one under the barrel. The built in heat sensors measure your temp and unlocks the gun. The reasoning here is that they don’t want players being one-hand careless with the laser. Take off your sweaty gym sock and tie is around the barrel, this will fool the sensors for a few minutes so you can go full stinky cowboy.
You need to get over the insane joy it is to have a working laser gun and aim your shots. You don’t get bonus for firing the most rounds so make them count. Find a stupid group (b-day party, bachelorettes, corporate team building) and stalk them the entire time. Resist the urge to go full blitz because it will reveal your position. Instead, be the vampire bat and just bleed the herd slowly.
Finding a tactical advantage can be tough because many of the popular moves are banned from play. Most purveyors of laser have strict rules. I can still remember the Laser Quest Player’s Code:
I will not run, climb or jump.
I will not sit, kneel or lie down.
I will not cover any sensors.
I will not use offensive language.
I will not make physical contact with other players.
I will play fair, play smart and give it my all!
I can’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance from memory but I know that. Go figure. Moving on, since you can’t do all that fun stuff mentioned above then the focus becomes the game plan. Wandering the arena with no purpose is a great way to get killed. Instead, find a high traffic choke point in the maze and post up. Then, lay waste to all the traffic that comes by. Best to find a few places like this and rotate back and forth to not get predictable. This will maximize the targets you’ll see which will greatly help your score.
If you have a few allies then secure a section and make it your castle. Create a perimeter and use team work to destroy the competition. The beauty of this maneuver is the that your enemies will come right to you. If a larger force moves in then simply fall back into a tight corridor and make them fight through a laser wall to get to you.
Kids have a natural advantage because they are low to the ground without breaking the rules for kneeling. Oh, don’t cheat either. Not just because it’s in bad taste but because the Marshal (laser referee) will catch you and take all your points. And if you keep pushing it, they will kick you out and maybe ban you.
But if you did want to cheat, you could sneak in a laser pointer and now you have the super illegal double shot. Don’t let the Marshal catch you.
Move over paint ball, laser tag is king. We need a pro league with running, climbing, jumping, all that. Hyper futuristic uniforms, dope playing fields and energy drink endorsements.