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To See What Lurks in the Shadow(land), Pull Out a Darklight

While in Maryland I met up with my friend Jessica and we went out for some laser tag following a dinner gathering in Washington, D.C.

Jessica, Christina and I went to Shadowland in Gaithersburg, which is a facility that uses the Darklight system. I have only played Darklight once...the last time I was in town for Phocon a year I was looking forward to playing something a little different. Well, different is exactly the right word for it, starting right with the equipment.

The most distinctive thing about this system has got to be the phaser. It is HUGE! A bit heavy, definitely unwieldy and just...crazy looking as phasers go...

We got there a bit late in the evening and had time for two rounds. The first one was a game of werewolves...(groan)...basically quite similar to the vampire game and not really worth any further explanation than that. I was hoping for something a little more standard, but it was a good time and a chance to get re-acclimated with the equipment.

What struck me most about the way the equipment actually played was the distance necessary to make a sensor react. It appears that if you get too close perhaps the protective bubble surrounding the sensor on the phaser must alter how the beam hits. I observed while shooting that distance shots were easy, but if I was close to an opponent the shots didn't always seem to take. Maybe this is normal...or maybe this is just why some people have the opinions they do about the functionality of this system's equipment. Either way, it was interesting to feel the differences in equipment while playing.

For the second game we played a more standard game (although I think it was similar to supercharge, I didn't catch the terminology they used). It included a special feature...invincibility, which was decided before we began. This was more like it! I felt like I really got to play this round and the competition was good. There were a few guys there who definitely had some experience and it was a much more athletic match than the first game. From out of the darkness I heard someone repeat the phrase "Who is Tivia 13?" several times. Smile. I loved hearing that question because I knew it meant I was tagging him a lot. I was a bit surprised that my rank stayed steady (no movement either way the entire game), but I knew I was playing hard and I tried not to think too hard about scores considering my goal for the weekend was just to enjoy the games. So I let those little comments be my recognition and left feeling great. It was such a joy to get to share my love of laser tag with Jessica and Christina. Thanks for joining me ladies!

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