"You Got The Best One"

It had been about a month since I'd gotten back to play in Albany for some Zone Infusion, so I ended my day out east so I could take advantage of their Thursday night special. I have to say I was really impressed with the crowd they drew on a weeknight. There were steadily around 20-25 players, and past the first game they were all adult players. I could identify two factions that came out...one group was college aged kids and I assumed they were all from the same local university. The other were employees from a local business who told me they were there taking part in an employee challenge. So this was an excellent night because everyone was there to play the game hard. I was there to play

Practice with a Purpose

Last night was a small group, but a very solid night of tag and from the start it felt more purposeful to me than the average Saturday night. With the Philly tournament in mind Joe and I worked on "self-imposed" rules to follow to simulate tournament play as best we could in our arena that is really not set up for that. He had some friends there and the public players came in and out of games all night, but regardless of what anyone else did, for at least the first half of the evening we worked on shot rationing, proper base evacuation and walking through what would be reload stations (and once upon a time were reload stations in this arena, but haven't been used as such for many years) to s

"How's NOT playing laser tag?" Well, Barney...

Sigh... I'm ready to play laser tag. I find it really ridiculous that I can't. Since the next tournament is a Zone competition I figured I would show up at the local center that uses Nexus and mix it up some. I also thought I'd use tonight as a solo practice opportunity before tomorrow when I hope to work on some teamwork with my local teammate. However, I am instead sitting here in the outer lobby NOT playing laser tag because the weather is beautiful and nobody has bothered to show up tonight. And while I am killing it at the Wheel of Fortune video game, this is most definitely not what I came here to do...at all! Here's what I have achieved so far tonight... It's been almost an hour now..

"Collateral Damage" Gets and Education That Goes Right Over His Head (Literally)

I may not have mentioned it yet (in the mix of so many other things that have happened recently), but I will be playing on a laser tag team participating in the Philadelphia Invitationals in a couple of months, which I am really looking forward to as it is a tournament playing Zone. We will be using the most unusual looking Helios Pro phasers, so I will want to check these out in advance on my next trip to the Philly area, but I am really looking forward to it. I'm also happy to report that our final teammate joining us is Joe (aka Bhodi) from my local Zone center, so it's very cool that I will have someone to practice with locally as the entire rest of our team is all out of state. This new

The Scenic Route

When my Phocon weekend was nearly over I played a final game of Photon, calling it my "one for the road," and I started back towards New York. However, I decided to take a few detours along the way. I looked at the route on my GPS and decided that I would stop at as many laser tag centers as I could that were reasonably located near my route. So for each city I was going to pass through I ran a search using www.wheretoplaylasertag.com (a great site for which I recently learned Bill, our team captain from Armageddon, is responsible) to find nearby locations. Early in the day I had some challenges (which should not have been totally unexpected since laser tag tends to pick up later in the afte

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 ago...so 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

PHOCON 2015

I love to hit the open road, so I was really looking forward to the drive to Phocon 2015 being held at XP Lasersport in Laurel, Maryland. When I left the arena in Syracuse on Friday night I just drove until I could drive no longer (putting me somewhere in Pennsylvania when I decided to find a hotel for the evening) and then I continued on my way to Maryland the next morning. And when I arrived there was a wonderful feeling of enthusiasm in the air as people were enjoying playing Photon, the game from 1984 that had brought us from all over to enjoy some authentic laser tag nostalgia. Fundraising had taken place over the last month to be able to restore the vintage equipment and take over this

Back in the Water, Baby!

In route to Phocon I stopped along the way in Syracuse to play a couple of rounds of tag (Force). If Armageddon was like laser tag Jaws then two weeks should be enough time for me to get back in the water (I did need to lay low for some recovery time). There was a nice vibe of familiarity going back for a regular night of laser tag. One girl came up to me right away and said "Tivia, you haven't been here in forever!" I noted that in actuality it has really only been two weeks, but I appreciate that my absence was noticed. I also appreciated this little exchange... "What do we charge Tivia these days?" "Whatever the gold member rate is. Depends on when she shows up. If she gets here after 9:3

An Interview with George Carter III, Inventor of Photon and Founder of the Laser Tag Industry

This past week I had the opportunity to interview George Carter III, inventor of Photon and founder of the laser tag industry, and I want to thank him for taking the time to share some wonderful stories about the history of Photon. It was such an honor for me to have the chance to talk with him and I hope you will enjoy hearing what he had to say... Many thanks to the man who started it all. :) Comments or questions? Contact: tivia@tiviachickloveslasertag.com Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com Blog: tiviachickloveslasertag.blogspot.com

Armageddon Reflections

It has taken a couple of days for me to properly process what happened during my first laser tag Armageddon. I will say this was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. It was both physically and emotionally draining during a time in my life that was already physically and emotionally draining in other ways, but this took things to a whole different degree of rigor. When this experience began I took a great deal on faith. I travelled to Buffalo to meet up with four men who were complete strangers to me in the beginning as we embarked on the journey to go through this competition together. I learned more than I ever expected to over the course of spending five days in three state

Armageddon Days 4 and 5

On Sunday we had a slightly later start (on the bus by 7:00 A.M.) to head over to the Laser Quest arena. I've already addressed my feelings about this game earlier in this blog, but it is what it is and at least this one is more about shooting than strategy. However, you have to question any game that begins with "find out which sensor on the pack works and just shoot at that". I have played Quest several times, but this was the first time I can recall playing on teams as opposed to free for all, so there's another element that was different from my previous experiences. Another thing that was different was that four teams went into the arena at once. The arena had a long strip of tape split

Armageddon Day 2...or is this 3? Who can tell anymore!

This morning I woke up in Michigan. Tonight I am falling asleep in Ohio and tomorrow I will be headed to Indiana all as part of this five day, seven system (almost...we'll get to that) Armageddon adventure upon which I have embarked. My day began at 4:00 A.M. with no time to spare before heading to play some Laserforce. As the most regular Force player on the team despite being new to SM5 I was still regarded as a good bet for the important role of Medic as we got our games started. However, for the first few games nobody was getting the bases, which is crucial to this game, so instead I swapped to scout stationed on the lower level. This was way more within my comfort zone to contribute bec

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