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The Maine Event (aka Playing G-Force Laser Tag)

For quite some time I have been aware of a unique kind of laser tag being used at a particular location in Maine, so I took advantage of having a free weekend to hit the road and drive about eight hours up to pay a visit to G-Force Entertainment in Bangor, ME to get a first-hand look at G-Force Laser Tag.



At first glance you might say “hey, isn’t that Q-Zar?”, but as owner Brian Plavnick explained to me, what he did was repurpose the Q-Zar plastics as shells to hold a completely different laser tag system that he calls G-Force, which is a custom-mod design only in use at his mobile events or at his arena located inside the Bangor Mall.



The uniqueness of this laser tag situation is what made me decide the trip was worth making a drive deep into Maine and I was delighted to get to experience something a little different. Check it out…



Now, from what he shared with me this all started well over 15 years ago when he was trying to get backers for a laser tag arena/entertainment venue, but instead took his idea and went mobile to start. In 2006 he designed his own system. At that time he was doing equipment repairs for Q-Zar operators by making battery packs, laser tubes and curly cords which he would trade for pre-owned Q-Zar shells and plastics to use as housings for his own laser tag system. While he describes Q-Zar as being a short distance laser tag, the PVC additions with his sensors allow players to tag with G-Force up to 1800 feet, making it ideal for outdoor use. He told me that he would take groups to play outdoor tag at a ski resort mountain area and would get customers at camps. In the beginning they were using a simple set-up with cardboard boxes and later evolved into a more involved set-up, going from barrels to barricades to the inflatable barriers currently in use at their Bangor location.




G-Force has taken their mobile tag and entertainment service all through New England, traveling as far west as Missouri. However their first brick and mortar location was in Augusta, ME, which made sense based on where their travel business was. Eventually they moved to Brewer, ME where they operated until COVID and for the last year and a half they have had their current location, G-Force Entertainment in Bangor, ME.


I got to tour the space, which has arcade and laser tag available during the day, but transitions into a nightclub in the later evening hours where they often bring in notable names for entertainment. Currently the arena is sized around 3000 square feet, but there are plans to expand and make the space multi-purpose for other entertainment as well. That’s manageable with the main maze made up of inflatables that Brian Plavnick designed himself.




Particularly when going mobile, flexibility is the key. Scoring is recorded on each tagger individually, so there is no scoreboard or need for WiFi or radio frequency for the system. Scoring is only done by comparing at the end. G-Force has built 140 taggers, but never tried to manufacture for the market, so their arena and events are the only place to get this game experience.




I enjoyed getting to play the standard free-for-all game format, though I understand that the system has the capability to play a much wider variety of game formats including Capture The Flag, Zombies, games with weapon and ammo depot, games to take over strategic location points or have a medic restore health and even Hunger Games where the goal is first to eliminate teams all the way down to two players who then have to eliminate each other.



It was interesting to experience something different while feeling the familiarity of the Q-Zar plastics. I asked Brian if he ever thought of doing anything with a softer style of vest/pack, but he told me that they like the plastic, both for durability and easy sanitization. Can’t argue with that!



Because Maine is as far northeast as you can get from the rest of the country, this is not a system I will be able to experience often, but I was definitely glad to find something different here and enjoy the novelty of playing it first-hand so I can share what I learned about G-Force with the laser tag community who might not be able to venture that far. However, you really never know when you might find yourself in Maine! It turns out one of the Resupply guys happened to be right in Bangor at the same time I was there. What coincidental timing! As far across the country as I often travel, that’s still a good reminder that it really is a small world where laser tag is concerned, so if you find yourself in Maine, go have yourself a G-Force experience too!




Comments or Questions? 

Contact: Tivia@tiviachickloveslasertag.com 

Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com

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