Things That I've Discovered, Better Late Than Never

Yesterday I was doing some research online to try to determine whether I could find anyone else who has attempted to tag in all 50 states like I am. I came upon a link with the heading of "Cross Country Laser Tag Mission" and that caught my attention. Imagine my surprise to click on it and see that it was actually about me! http://yubacityfun.com/cross-country-laser-tag-mission/ This was from last fall when I visited the Millennium Family Entertainment Center in Yuba City, CA. I want to give a shout out to them...definitely still one of my favorite places because of all the cool people I met there. So sorry that I didn't see this sooner! And speaking of things I didn't notice sooner, I was t

Happy International Laser Tag Day!

There are a few reasons why International Laser Tag Day is significant (besides just being a great excuse to get out there and play). It is a celebration of history. Today marks the 34th anniversary of the opening of Photon in Dallas, TX, which was the very first laser tag site ever. It launched a phenomenon in the 80s and it kickstarted the laser tag industry that quickly evolved from then onward. It’s a chance to recognize the systems that got us to where we are now. Check out this year’s Laser Tag Day poster for an homage to Vultrek, which some would call the “missing link” between Photon and some of the key systems that followed (www.lasertagmuseum.com). But this year Laser Tag Day means

Playing Stratum, “The World’s Largest Technotainment Laser Tag Arena”

The first time I ever heard of Stratum was when Nate’s girlfriend from Arizona described the massive arena near where she lived and told me that it was an absolute must for me if I ever had a chance to go to Arizona. This was well before my 50 state mission was even an idea yet. But I remembered this, researched it, learned that this site calls themselves the “World’s Largest Technotainment Laser Tag Arena” and knew that this was a site I really wanted to visit. I’ve called them in the past trying to work a visit into previous layovers I’ve had in Phoenix (as the site is in Mesa, about 20 minutes outside), but somehow the timing never worked out right…until now. If the New Mexico leg of my t

From Albuquerque to Arizona

This story begins with me sitting in a meeting at work last Monday. Typically I am expected to represent at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in our city, but this year it was phrased as a question “do you want to do the parade?” to which I said I could if we needed staff, but if we were covered I had something else I’d like to be doing instead. As soon as I heard “that’s fine, we’ve got it covered” then I started putting a spontaneous plan in place for my suddenly free weekend. Albuquerque, here I come! There are several states that have significantly fewer opportunities for playing laser tag than others and as near as I can tell it appears to me that New Mexico may only have two sites in

Photon For My Birthday

I should have worn my Clerks shirt that says "I'm not even supposed to be here" because if not for the nor'easter that blew through the east coast I would have been on a plane bound for the west coast with full intentions of tagging at Stratum in Mesa, Arizona for my birthday. However, due to the weather my flight was cancelled and I spent my birthday playing laser tag in Syracuse. Actually, this was just fine by me. I'll reschedule my trip in a few weeks and today I appreciated all the well wishes from various characters in my life including this guy... Thanks David. :) And I got to bring some of that Photon attitude with me as "Tivia" made it to the top of a game of Photon emulation. Now,

The Tournament That Really Wasn't

I have debated for a few days what to say about my trip to Wilmington, NC. I was signed up for a local tournament that I had played in previously (and won) last year with a respectable turnout of members and players coming out to compete for it at that time. This year I thought it would be fun to return and play it again when I discovered that the event would be held on the same weekend I was already traveling down south. So I detoured and got on a plane from Alabama headed for North Carolina. I will say it was a fun time and I’m glad that I went regardless, however the participation dropped WAY off from what it was the last time I was here…and in fact it continued to drop off even from the

Lazer Zone in Alabama

It was the end of a long day by the time I arrived in Mobile, Alabama at the Lazer Zone site for some Tron. I showed up in time to join the second to last game of the night and registered quickly. Then we were headed into the vesting room which had a cool neon cockpit décor. The theme carried into the rest of the arena which did not look like a typical Tron arena. Lots of neon, but no bases. It was like playing Tron with no agenda besides targeting the other players…and I had no complaints at all about that since I was a little too tired to be running back and forth from a base to a reload anyway. I staked out a spot with good positioning, but also within an arm’s length of the reload. :) Ho

Laser Mania in Mississippi

There is only one place in the United States where a person can play Laser Mania and that is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…so you know I had to visit! I was fortunate enough to sit down with Laser Mania president Pat Rothwell for an interview to learn about the system that he manufactures with his business partner and programmer Jonathan Craft. The arena is built inside an old movie theater, so the observation deck is in what was once the projection room. And it overlooks an arena that has a real 90s vibe. At the end of the game I had the top score, so they gave me a small first place button. I think this is very smart strategy to keep people interested as I was told that once you accumulate t

Playing my 150th Arena – Laser Tag of Baton Rouge and Metairie

It’s difficult for me to separate the two amazing experiences I had playing at Laser Tag of Baton Rouge first and then Laser Tag and Games of Metairie as my 150th arena. Together they made for truly memorable experience tagging in Louisiana. They are sister arenas, both featuring a Photon alpha field arena design and operating with Laserforce. Playing at these sites was definitely one of the most remarkable highlights of this trip. So let me start at the beginning as I was driving Friday night on my way to Baton Rouge. I got an unexpected message from Stephen Strickland asking me if I was going to be in New Orleans the next day. I was surprised because I don’t often make my travel plans publ

Laser Tag in Louisiana

In chronological order my next stop was to Laser Tag of Baton Rouge after driving south into Louisiana. However, I’m going to talk more about that once I get to my visit to Metairie. Meanwhile, there were a couple more arenas I played while in route. Safari Quest in Hammond, LA was my first stop the next day and I was quite pleasantly surprised to get in a decent game at 10:00 in the morning! I had to play this early in order to make it to all the locations I had planned, but I want to thank Ethan and the early risers who played for giving me a much better than expected warm up to start the day. Now, their name may mention a Quest, but this site operates with Zone Rift in a double level aren

Southern States Trip: Arriving in Arkansas!

This past weekend I decided that the arrival of a burst of snow in New York signaled that this was a good time to fly south for the winter…or at least the weekend. :) So I boarded a plane bound for Little Rock, Arkansas and then drove a little less than an hour to play some tag at Jack and Jill Funzone in Pine Bluff. Upon arrival I met Terrence who owns this family entertainment center featuring Zone Rift along with his wife Tonya. Let me say this man was the definition of southern hospitality! Although I had called ahead a couple of weeks ago and spoken to Tonya, Terrence was a little surprised to have a blogger from New York show up in the middle of a Friday asking questions and wanting to

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