Tivia and Tivia Have a Chat - An Interview with Loretta Heywood

Somewhere in London a talented musician was on the verge of releasing her new album and beginning a series of live shows. She was not thinking the least little bit about laser tag or Photon...until responding to an email from me from completely out of the blue. Amazingly, that was nearly seven months ago and since then it has been such a pleasure for me to get to know singer/songwriter Loretta Heywood, known in the music industry for her work with Bomb The Bass in the early '90s and for co-writing the song "Winter In July" and adding her vocals to many other songs, but perhaps best known to any fan of Photon as the actress who played the role of Tivia on the Photon television series in 1986.

The Zeta Answer

When I wrote about my recent laser tag experiences in Canada I invited anyone reading to clarify for me the differences between Hyper Blast and Zeta Blast. Well, I am appreciative of this reply that I received in my email this morning... Dear Tivia, I was the game master when you came to play at Area 51 Laser Tag. You asked what made zetablast better and I was not sure. Since then I discussed it with my boss and he told me the software allows us to customize our games. Because of zetablast we are able to do custom games such as Eliminate VIP, Search and Destroy, Capture the Flag, and the stealth match. It allows us to have complete control over how the game plays and allows us to create

It was a VERY interesting night...

It took me over an hour and a half to get to the laser tag arena last night because the snow was coming down hard and the slippery roads did not make for easy driving. So upon arrival I really hoped that I would not be the only one who had braved the weather. Fortunately, there was a packed house and an interesting mix of players and situations that took place in the arena throughout the evening. I had decided before I got there that if the first game didn't feel like one where I had "something to prove" that I would take it as an opportunity to experiment and try out something that I read about on the internet. Most people hold their phaser from the bottom (I'm right handed, so right hand o

Why I'm Just Not Wild About This

Every now and again I think that I want to eat lobster. I have a tendency to forget that I am actually allergic to lobster and that it will make me ill. But I know that other people think lobster is the greatest food on earth, so I occasionally try to convince myself that I can enjoy lobster too...and every time I am wrong. In a way, that is my weird analogy for playing Quest in Canada, at least so far. (author's edit - I've since come to really enjoy playing Laser Quest) My friends and I decided to play a little more laser tag and called ahead to a local Quest center to make reservations (I had never before experienced a time when a laser tag reservation was necessary - let alone on a Sunda

Going Stealth

Our final laser tag stop on Saturday night was to Planet Play and Area 51. They have a very cool looking website and upon walking into the center we found there was a wall of monitors with cameras tracking the activity of the current game being played in the arena. The outer part of the center was deceptively sparse compared to the arena in the back, but once we were led down a very artfully painted space-battle themed hallway we found ourselves in a small, but impressive briefing area. OK, briefing areas are hardly ever more than a small room with risers, perhaps accented by cool lighting or design concepts, but this one was the most impressive we'd been in today, mostly by virtue of the l

Meandering the Maze

One of the laser tag systems I enjoy playing is Laserforce. So when we started to plan our Canada trip I was enthused to learn that there was a center running the Laserforce system in nearby Vaughan. I figured if it was anything like the place where I play locally that it would be packed on a Saturday night and I was ready with my membership card in case it could be used to get my standard games number up while playing on vacation. Meanwhile, the friend I was coordinating the trip with agreed that playing in Vaughan sounded great...but he did his internet research separately and we discovered that even though we were planning the arrangements together we had independently been looking at web

Oh, Canada...So Much Laser Tag, So Little Time

Paul and I recently visited some friends in the Toronto area. In addition to all the fun things we wanted to experience while in Canada, top of my list was getting a chance to try out as many different laser tag centers as possible. That seemed easy enough since there are quite a few in close proximity to where we were staying. But I had the itch to play even before arriving at our final destination, as I had mapped out a few options I found on www.wheretoplaylasertag.com before we had even left. So upon crossing the border into Canada we headed towards Hamilton where Lazer Mania was our first blast of the day. I was intrigued by what turned out to be a typo...on the website listing where it

Strategy Session

I feel compelled to write about strategy this morning, even knowing full well that by putting this out there it may come back to bite me next time. This is a map of the arena where I was playing laser tag last night. The goals are two-fold...tag as many players as you possibly can while making sure to tag each of the opposing teams' bases once per game. Let's assume for the sake of the following examples that I am playing on the red team (FYI, my strategy will change based on which team I am on and I suspect next time I will end up selecting a different team just to keep a few surprises). There are several things I can do right out of the gate. Mixing them up so the other team doesn't know

Words To Live By

This t-shirt has some good advice for life... It's also good advice when you consider it relevant to strategy, which I will address further in my next post. However, that will wait until morning as I have just returned from a full evening of laser tag and an extra long drive back on some very slick roads, so I am ready to call it a night!

Out of the Past

Yes, Team Toronto...that title is for you ;) I came across a neat little blast from my laser tag past...the key tag that I was assigned when I first started playing laser tag years ago. In an earlier post I mentioned that some years back I played at a center that used a code name system, but in the years since they had updated their system and these key tags are no longer used there. But if you roll the clock back a few years, this tag contained all the statistical data from when I first began playing. It was given to me upon my signing up for a membership. Back in the day I would attach this button to the front of my laser tag pack and it would retain my player information and the results a

Attack of the Jim Jim Squad

Some nights you get a feel for how the games are going to go...and other nights you get some cool surprises. I showed up at laser tag right at the start of the night and in the briefing room I was the only woman (not entirely unusual) among a swarm of overly confident high school jocks who came to the arena as a group and loudly determined that this game would just be their "warm-up" until more people started to arrive. I'm not sure if they even noticed me...yet. I do love being underestimated and they sure didn't see me coming. Typically I can tell when players don't expect for me to have any laser tag skills and I love the moment of realization that hits at some point during the game. I

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