A Tour of the Laser Tag Museum

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the highlights of my most recent travels was having an opportunity for a guided tour of the Laser Tag Museum in Louisville, KY. I want to thank curator Erik Guthrie for taking the time to show me around and letting me film while learning about some of the remarkable history on display at this museum. I hope you will enjoy getting a virtual tour as a result of this video! And to see the complete collection online you can visit www.lasertagmuseum.com. Comments or questions? Contact: tivia@tiviachickloveslasertag.com Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever.com Blog: tiviachickloveslasertag.blogspot.com

Recap and Reflections

Before driving the last hour home I decided to stop by my home Laserforce center in Syracuse to check in on the Nats. The Laserforce Internationals are taking place and I wanted to cheer on my friends with a show of support. I had to smile at the humorous t-shirts being worn by the Syracuse C team. The front says "Who plays tag?" The back... And it gave me a moment to share some of my experiences from this week and reflect on the previous seven days. These are by far the top ten most memorable moments from my midwest laser tag adventure. 1. Playing Zone laser tag with the Vice President of Zone Laser Tag US 2. Playing that same game on the last remaining original Photon field in existence 3.

Lazer Xtreme

My final stop in Ohio was to Lazer Xtreme in Middleburg Heights, just outside of Cleveland. This place was on my radar for two reasons. First, because I was intrigued by a claim on their website that made me wonder what the Laser Tag Guy might have liked so much about them. And second...they had awesome t-shirts. Honestly as I fastened my Nexus pack (feeling exhausted and like this was a bit of Groundhog's Day dejavu) I decided to play one game and call it a night. It was a good game against an appropriately aged group (teenagers and adults who seemed to be enjoying a multi-play special and had been playing together since before I arrived). This was a rather convoluted arena to take on cold.

Playing LaserTrek

No doubt one of the most interesting stops on my journey through Ohio was to Lazer Warz in Mansfield. I saw online that they still operated with LaserTrek equipment. The only time I've ever seen a pack was during my recent visit to the Laser Tag Museum. Could this possibly be right? I called to inquire and, sure enough, I was told that this was what they used for their system. Even though it was two hours out of my way I just had to check this out. The owner, Mark, was kind enough to fill in some of the history of this system produced from 1994-2005 by Heads Up Technologies. The most remarkable thing is that this is one of the last two places in the world where it can be played! Essentially

Q-zar that isn't Q-zar

When the tournament was over it was time to meander home...but not without a few more laser tag stops along the way. I was intrigued to see that there was a Q-zar still open in Toledo...although in fairness I did my research in advance to learn that they don't actually still operate Q-zar equipment, which makes the name all the more unusual. Regardless, I was intrigued and wanted to see what they had to offer. I arrived just minutes after they opened and knew perfectly well (even before walking in) that it would be unlikely there would be anyone there to play against that early in the day. I asked if there might be an employee who could go in for a one on one game with me. At first they said

Battle For The Fort - Day 3: Ascendance Ascends!

LOR ascensions began around 7:00 on Saturday evening and I wanted to cheer on my teammates who were doing really well. Amber made it into the ascensions and made us really proud. And Alex did awesome pulling fifth place in the elite division. Go team! French format we pretty much just played to play. I volunteered to be one of the four to go in, knowing that nobody else was all that eager to do so. But at least it was over quickly and we could focus on the main event that mattered to us...team competition. We entered the first round of ascensions going up against the Misfits and Going Gorillas teams. Our first game Ascendance pulled second, but that was good enough to keep us in the game. Th

Crazy Pinz...or Crazy Player?

There's got to be some kind of insanity that comes over me when I compete in a tournament and as soon as I get a break the first thing I do is run to another laser tag facility to play more! This is what I have done at each of my last two tournaments and it happened again in Indiana. I woke up around 2:30 in the afternoon after having played all night long in the tournament. None of my teammates were feeling up to going anywhere (we still had a full evening in front of us) so I explored Fort Wayne on my own. I had some incredible sushi from a place called Asakusa. Then I decided to go play a little Delta Strike at Crazy Pinz. When you walk into the briefing room you have to watch a captain c

Battle For The Fort: Day 2

The bulk of our tournament competition was going to fall between Friday night and Saturday morning. Seriously, we played from 8:00 PM straight through to nearly 8:00 AM the next day. Whew! But this was encompassing three events. We gathered at the Ultrazone and met up with our sixth player who everyone knows as Hot Dice, but this time around he adopted the name Little Rain. This was Team Ascendance. The first event was Lord of the Rings (LOR), which is essentially a three player dogfight taking place inside a ring of tape on the floor. I had watched LOR competition last year in Philly, but this was my very first time entering the ring. In my first round it was all brand new and I just had to

Indiana: Warming Up at Lazer X

It's an ironic play on words for this post to say we were "warming up" considering the heat index is around 105 degrees this weekend, but what I mean is my team gathered to play warm up before day two of the Battle For The Fort tournament by playing a couple of rounds of Cyber Blast at Lazer X in Fort Wayne, IN. This facility had recently reopened after having closed due to a fire. They have been reopened for only two weeks and their center is impressive! I was the first of my teammates to arrive. We gathered to chat while waiting for the 4:40 game to be called. And then we went upstairs to a really cool space themed briefing area. This arena was great! There were three levels and the vestin

Battle For The Fort: Day 1

I finally made my way up to Fort Wayne, Indiana to play in the Battle For The Fort tournament with our laser tag team, Ascendance. I'm so glad to be playing alongside people who love the game as much as I do. We gathered at the Ultrazone center around 6:45. And Amber came back from the captain's meeting with more t-shirts! Meanwhile I was picking up some fun Zone souvenirs. There was ample time before the first event got underway. Tonight it was team tactical...aka the Big Team Grinder...aka essentially a cage match! Seriously, we were literally playing inside a cage kind of structure that had been constructed in the back garage of the center (the arena here is impressive, but we didn't actu

Indiana: X-Site to the X-treme

Sometimes you can look at the outside of a laser tag center and get a pretty good idea of what kind of place it will be. Based on the entrance to X-Site in Indianapolis, IN I just knew this place would be pretty cool. Plus it came well recommended. It's a Zone site with layered levels of arena space and a bright space theme throughout the whole center including their upper level observation deck (which I think is an asset whenever I find a center that has one). I was called in with several groups and during the briefing each group was asked to huddle together to determine their team color. I joined with a group of younger players because I would rather shoot with the kids than at them. There

More Tag in Kentucky: Tag at 9:00 AM on a Thursday? Sure!

Before leaving Kentucky I wanted to visit at least one more center, but time was not on my side. However, Main Event in Louisville had business hours starting at 9:00 in the morning.I called ahead not expecting that there would be anyone there at that early hour on a weekday, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn they were running a summer special that brought people in and I had a nice group to play against. They use Delta Strike equipment. What a joy this game was. For the first time I got to really experience properly functioning Delta Strike! It's like a whole different game when the phasers work well and this was a smooth game. This arena was a double level with lots of open space, bu

Kentucky: Lazer Blaze and the Laser Tag Museum

Oh my goodness, there was too much awesomeness to this stop that I can't do it proper justice without a completely separate post dedicated to the museum! However, in the meantime I would love to tell you about the most incredible stop of my trip. I went to Lazer Blaze in Louisville, KY where I was greeted upon arrival by Erik Guthrie, curator of the museum and Vice President of Zone Laser Tag US. He's a great guy who I have interviewed before and he was kind enough to make a two hour drive to come to Louisville and give me a guided tour of the museum collection, as the entryway to Lazer Blaze is home to the display for the Laser Tag Museum (www.lasertagmuseum.com). Erik gave me a tour of Laz

Tagging in Tennessee

Between the time zone change and the early start it was a long road down to Tennessee, but I'm so glad I was able to enjoy some time playing Nexus at Lanes, Trains and Automobiles in Murfreesboro, TN. It might not sound like a laser tag facility (the "lanes" refer to the bowling alley), but it was a fun little stop. The arena is not huge, but it didn't need to be. It was fairly early in the day when I walked in and, even though the bowling alley was quite busy, I was the only one looking to play some laser tag. However, the game master was a good sport and granted me a pretty active one on one game to make sure I didn't have to wait to check Tennessee off my list of states where I want to pl

Illinois: Playing at the World's Largest Laser Tag Arena

Did you know that the world's largest laser tag arena is Laser Rock located in the Edge 618 in Belleville, IL? I believe there's an arena in Arizona that runs neck and neck for that title, but it's printed on the t-shirt, so I'm inclined to believe it. :) There were two things I really enjoyed about playing in this arena. First, being able to say I've played in the world's largest arena. Second, being able to share laser tag for the first time with my friend David. I thought the arena was cool with its colorful mountainous theme. It was definitely big! And the briefing room was pretty stylish too. They run the Darklight system at this arena. Although I prefer more standard team games they op

Missouri - Part Three: Epic Artwork

I arrived at Epic 6 in Fenton, MO just in time to jump into the final game of the night which had just started. They quickly showed me into the briefing room and asked me if I knew how to play. I said yes even before being handed the phaser...which was when I first realized what system they were running. I got to play a little bit of Delta Strike! Now, I'm not particularly wild about Delta Strike as a system, but I do enjoy the novelty of being able to play it again since the opportunities to do so have been so limited. So I jumped right in and began playing with the benefit of my little bit of experience with it in Massachusetts. I did much better with it having a better understanding now o

Missouri - Part Two: "And the award for the best briefing video goes to..."

When I arrived at Adrenaline Zone in St. Charles, MO a group had just been taken in for a briefing session, so they whisked me back to get in on this game with a group of teenage players. I walked in and saw the briefing video in progress. O-M-G, this is the BEST briefing video I have ever seen! First of all, the briefing room was unlike any that I have ever been in before (and I've been in a lot). The room was set up like a control station at a power plant, complete with a "live" (read mechanical) technician named "Liza Tag"...too clever. :) See the guy on the screen? He's an actor who delivered the briefing as "mission instructions" before sending us into the power plant. They apparently w

Missouri - Part One: Having a (Cyber) Blast at Sports Fusion

Day two of my midwest laser tag trip began with me waking up in Kentucky and driving six hours to get myself to Missouri...absolutely worth it! My first stop in the Show-Me State was Sports Fusion in Chesterfield where I got to play a little Cyber Blast. They have a very spacious, open layout in their two level arena and this was the first time I got to experience Cyber Blast with bases, mines and targets (which were missing the last time I played this system). I was the newcomer to a group that had apparently just played a few rounds, so I took a bit of time walking the perimeter to familiarize myself with the space. They have plenty of room with some pretty good sight lines throughout the

West Virginia: A Visit to Planet X

I'm off and running on another multi-state laser tag marathon and this one began with a trip down to Planet X Laser Tag just outside of Parkersburg, WV. Actually, things started off well even before I got there because the owner of the facility, Dave Newell, texted me in the morning to confirm my arrival time and try to recruit a few players to be there. I really appreciated that because after nine hours of driving from New York I knew I was going to be getting to Planet X on a Monday afternoon and I fully realize that you can never really plan for a crowd on a weekday in the summer, so the extra effort made a good impression on me. When I walked in the first thing I saw was the huge living

Check This Out...

To anyone who reads this blog I'm sure it is obvious that I'm really just chronicling my own little laser tag adventures like a journal. However, I was flattered to learn that one of my previous posts featuring my interview with George Carter III was linked in another laser tag related blog that is taking a very different approach and offering some solid advice and information to laser tag players. I found this blog to be a really interesting read, well written with some excellent tips and I would encourage you to check it out as well... http://lasertagguides.com Comments or questions? Contact: tivia@tiviachickloveslasertag.com Websites: www.tiviachickloveslasertag.com and www.photonforever

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