International Laser Tag Day 2019: Making Laser Tag History with George Carter III
My journey to play laser tag in all 50 states culminated in such a wonderful time at Laser Quest North Richland Hills, TX on March 28th, International Laser Tag Day!
I had been looking forward to playing laser tag in Texas for quite some time, knowing that once I played there I would be the first person to have ever played laser tag in all 50 states, so this one had to be special. I knew it would be when George Carter III, inventor of Photon and founder of the laser tag industry agreed to come out and celebrate with me on the day that also marks the 35th anniversary of when he opened the first Photon laser tag center right here in the Dallas area on March 28, 1984. It seemed most fitting to host a special night of laser tag near where it all began, so with the support of Laser Quest we had the chance to make a little history at a site very close to where laser tag history had been made once before.
George arrived in the early afternoon and we sat down to record an interview about the early days of Photon, which I will post soon.
He took note of a couple Funko Pop figures that had been customized especially for the occasion to remember Photon.
And after the interview we chatted a bit with Laser Quest manager Patrick who told us that all his employees had volunteered to work tonight so they could be part of the festivities!
Some decorations were prominently placed at Mission Control including an original Photon helmet and some complimentary souvenir wristbands for the players.
Then it was time to make some history! The official game that marked Texas as my 50th state was a private one vs one game of laser tag with me getting to play with the man who created the original game…such a special experience!
And at the end we took a photo by the map of all the places where I have played laser tag along the way.
Then we were ready to celebrate. A small group played in the first game of the night before we were joined by other players later in the evening.
I was really heartened by how far some of these guys had come. Although a couple of the players were local, others had traveled quite a distance. Charles, a fellow laser tag blogger, came all the way from Houston and Photon Chris actually made a road trip all the way from New Jersey to be with us tonight!
Lorna from SportsCon came out and enjoyed her very first game of laser tag!
As the night went on we enjoyed food and refreshments and social time between the games.
Charles presented me with such a special souvenir to commemorate my laser tag achievement.
And then it was time for me to make a special presentation as well. I was honored to present this plaque to George Carter on behalf of the Laser Tag Museum and laser tag players worldwide to thank him for creating the game that started it all on here on the 35th anniversary of Photon.
Here is a video where you can see the game of laser tag I played with George as well as the presentation of the plaque. Plus a special laser tag shout out from one of my favorite actors, David Lascher (best remembered as Ted from Hey Dude or Vinnie from Blossom).
I was speechless when I saw that shout out earlier that day and also delighted by all the support I’ve received from everyone back home. I learned while in Texas that the details of this adventure had made the front page of my hometown newspaper.
So there was a lot to celebrate. And what would a party be without cake?
As the evening came to a close we continued playing laser tag with the players who came in during the night. I invited George to take his poster home as a souvenir as well as the red custom Funko (and yes, I kept the green one).
I thanked him for being part of this really special evening along with his wife, Debi. I could not have asked for a better way to finish my journey laser tagging across America. I’m appreciative that I got to experience this all at a Laser Quest where the business is still all about laser tag.
Of course there was one other thing I had to do while in Dallas. I had to make a journey to the Photon “mothership”, the location where the first Photon center had been and the former home of the “Photon Intergalactic Headquarters” (as the sign once read 35 years ago).
This was such an amazing way to celebrate International Laser Tag Day. Thank you again to Laser Quest, George Carter III and all who came out to enjoy laser tag on this special night!
Comments or Questions?
Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com