There have been some quiet laser tag weekends lately and when I arrived tonight there was only one guy there. It was Joe (the guy I've nicknamed Bhodi because he's such a good shot) and when I walked into the center it appeared that we were going to end up heading into a one on one. That was good with me as I have not had the opportunity to face off against him since the second place slump I hit better than a month ago. I give him tremendous props for being the best challenger I've gone up against in this particular arena, so a one on one would have been interesting. However, just before going into the arena two young and enthusiastic kids joined us. Now you might think that a game with four people, two of them being kids might be a little...pathetic. However, I found the opposite to be true. In essence, we were still playing one on one, just with a couple of extra moving targets. And this was good competition. It seemed we were pretty evenly matched. He won the first game and I took all the subsequent games, however each one was a close contest and in several rounds we were only a shot or two apart from each other's scores at the end. What I enjoy about playing one on one is the stealth strategy that goes into it. Since you don't have a ton of people to target left and right you have to play it much smarter...move more quietly, anticipate what the other person is likely to do and know your surroundings. The truth is Joe is a better shot than I am, however I suspect I compensate for it with strategy and competitive drive. And it was fun to see how that played out. Actually we are both highly competitive and so that meant the games stayed interesting because we were both playing hard for the win every time. And the little ones were just upping the challenge...kind of like those little turtles that get in Mario's way, but don't pose a tremendous threat so long as you stay aware.
The second game was especially fun because a couple of young girls showed up to play as well. I think one of the kids suggested playing with the boys on one team and the girls on the other. Now, we kind of got to be mentors to these kids because none of them were very skilled at laser tag. Throughout the game we were each coaching our respective teams, pointing out where to find bases, etc. I could sense that those boys were expecting an easy victory being on Joe's team. And that in and of itself was enough for me to take it up a notch. I knew the girls on my team were inexperienced players, so it was all the more important to me to do well for our "girls team" because it seemed like a chance to be something of a female role model if I could demonstrate that...
That may seem like I'm putting too much emphasis on that role model concept, but really there are not nearly so many women playing laser tag as men, sometimes I'm the only one, so if there's a chance to model good playing for the girls and help them develop interest...well I think that matters. I know it does. After all, I was a young girl intrigued by laser tag once and I'll just say that there's a reason I took the name Tivia. So my tiny contribution for the night towards female empowerment was to play well and rock it...but it still boiled down to essentially a one on one with a few more targets.
Third and fourth games were more of the same and Joe and I had scores so close that a single well placed shot could have flip-flopped the outcome. The results were virtually negligible and THAT made for some excellent practice and I'm glad he gave me a run for my money...especially after leaving early last time because things had gotten too redundant. This night was totally worthwhile with a really good challenge.
By the fifth game a couple of the little ones were following my lead. There were a couple more who went their own way on a separate team. Meanwhile Joe made himself a team of one and I huddled my two followers together and gave them a simple directive to start the next game. To their credit they enthusiastically agreed to the strategy I laid out. Unfortunately, knowing left from right would have been essential to accomplishing the goal and when I said go left they were ready to go...and then promptly ran off to the right. Smile and sigh. So it was both an evening of getting in some good quality solo competition and also feeling like a bit of a mentor, which is always cool.
By 10:30 we had both decided to call it a night there, but I had a second wind and went over to the Warehouse for whatever games I could get in before the night was over. It's nice to appreciate what a difference there is between centers and I almost went here at the beginning of the night anyhow. Until the Armageddon next month I will continue to try to balance my playing locations, cities and systems so as to not get stagnant with just one experience, however if it were simply a question of where do I enjoy playing the most...this place takes it. I was waved into the game going in and got in a nice round of...I don't even know what game. Something basic. Then I was invited into a game of Gladiator which I had never experienced before. I enjoy learning new game formats. It was explained to me that in this game all players would start out with ten lives that would decrease when you got shot. However, for every four players that you tag you can earn one of those lives back. If you lose them all you are done. So basically it goes to either last man (or woman) standing or best of who's left when the clock runs out. This was fun. I ended up winning this round and afterwards had a nice chat with one of the guys who had gone into the game with his young son.
The guy's name was Dak and we had a nice talk about our respective laser tag experiences. He told me that he had played the laser tag at the very first center opened in Dallas...you know where this is going! I was very excited to hear he had played at the original Photon center and I pulled up some photos on my phone of the Photon experience and some of the promotional photos I have from that very facility. So nice to meet someone who was actually there. Although I realize after having used my Tiviachick site to show photos to people two days in a row that it is seriously in need of a facelift. After spending as much time as I did developing the Photon Forever website I am starting to cringe as I look at the platform I used as a launching point. I also feel like it could be more focused on my overall laser tag experiences, so keep an eye out because in the very near future the Tiviachick site is going to be revamped and relaunched. After two full nights of laser tag in a row I decided to call it a night right there so I could spend some time working on the site after a good night's sleep. Excellent way to end the night.
If you have comments or questions please visit my websites at www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.