I'm going to call my visit to Xtreme Laser Storm in Robinson my first experience in a real Laser Storm divided arena.
Let me explain why...my Laser Storm experience up to this point has been as follows:
*Playing it as an imported system at 'geddon events
*Playing Laser Storm once previously in an arena in Iowa, but it was definitely NOT in a divided arena
*Playing different systems in spaces that previously operated Laser Storm and kept their arena panels up
This was my first opportunity to really get the full Laser Storm experience start to finish. Logan arrived here first (somehow my GPS took me WAY off track) and let owner Tom know that we'd be playing. Now, this is Logan's main system and home arena, so I just let him show me around and educate me a bit about Laser Storm since my experience has been somewhat limited up until now.
We entered the vesting room and put on out packs.
Because it was early in the afternoon when we arrived there were more kids playing than adults, so this game was NOT a true reflection of the way this system should be played seriously, but for me just getting started it was a lot of fun and did give me a refresher on the system as well as a chance to observe things while playing. I confirmed that the term "Wilsoning" does in fact come from the fact that when peeking over the barriers (trying to keep your headset low) you look like the Home Improvement character known for being all "Howdy, neighbor!"
And it wasn't until later on that I really appreciated the difference that is made by having the arena divided into sections for each team. Unlike in other laser tag there was a lot less chasing and running towards players because the red team stayed on their side of the barrier while the green team stayed on their side.
This game was not my best showing (putting it mildly) and I was constantly running back and forth to the stations to energize.
Playing with a huge group of kids actually left me walking out of the arena thinking "what just happened?" and I really needed a moment to regroup and learn about the way scores are calculated...
...and reported on the game card.
Logan gave me some tips about how to hold my phaser sideways close to my head to maintain control of the beam from the right side. You'll have to visualize that on your own because this pic is NOT how to hold it most effectively...
He also told me that at the company's peak Laser Storm had about 229 locations, although at present there are about 27 known Storm sites in existence. I hope that with a new effort to revitalize the brand we will see that grow, but I also have great admiration for those that are continuing to operate and keep this system available for the public to enjoy.
I had a great time absorbing the experience and learning more about the system than I had been able to get previously. Later on in the evening I'd be able to put this into practice again, but what a wonderful time I had. Thank you to Xtreme Laser Storm of Robinson for a terrific first time in a real Laser Storm setting!
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Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com