Half a Name + Half a Game = Whole Lot of Fun in Charlotte!

How did it happen that I ended up playing half an Ironman? Here’s the story… I left Archdale and was bound for Charlotte, NC with plans to play the 10:00pm Ironman at Laser Quest for which I had called in my reservation earlier that afternoon. I had been driving for most of the day at this point. I started my morning in Greensboro, NC, drove over two and a half hours to Blacksburg, VA, then another three hours to South Boston, an hour and a half to Burlington, half an hour more to Archdale and from there it was about an hour and twenty minutes more to Charlotte. Now, I had played a lot of laser tag along the way, so I have no complaints about all the driving required to get me there. But I h

Lazer X...and Lazer X

My first stop upon crossing the border into northern North Carolina was to Lazer X in Burlington. I am intrigued by the history of sites that are called Lazer X and yet operate completely independently of each other, because I have played at a few of them including Lazer X in Fort Wayne, IN (with Cyber Blast) and Lazer X in Sacramento, CA (with Helios Pro). At this point I believe most (if not all) are independently owned sites, but since the ones I have been to all pretty much use similar logos it seems logical that perhaps they must have at once point had origins connected with Lazer X and Intersphere. But if that is the case here I will need to do my homework. It’s coincidental, but just

World of Sports Was a World of Fun!

After leaving the Appalachian Laser Tag Festival I was ready to get back to some more traditional tag. I was also eager to get my arena count up because I am quickly closing in on playing my 200th arena. :) I had made a decision earlier in the day to alter my plans and only play one arena in Virginia this trip (opting to skip a skate/tag site in favor of picking up a Laser Quest later in the evening instead) so I checked out the routes and decided to take a chance on making the three hour drive from Blacksburg to my next stop, World of Sports in South Boston, VA. I’m happy to report that this was the right call and I found this stop absolutely worth driving that extra distance. When I arrive

Appalachian Laser Tag Festival

I believe it was a year or so ago that I first learned about the Appalachian Laser Tag Festival hosted annually by the Laser Tag Club at Virginia Tech. I was intrigued. Based on the photos from their website I knew this was a COMPLETELY different kind of laser tag experience than anything I had done before (even compared with outdoor tactical) so I contacted the organizer, Scott, back in March to make arrangements to be part of it. This year’s event was moved to a different location than where they normally play, so I started my morning driving north into Blacksburg, VA and searching for the road that would take me to Pandapas Pond to meet up with the group. I got there and met up with some

Do You Have the Spare Time for Some Midnight Tag?

It feels like no sooner did I get back from California before hitting the road again, this time for southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. This trip was built upon two objectives...playing at the Appalachian Laser Tag Festival and getting my arena count a smidgen closer to the big 200 that I plan to hit on my next trip. So I set out on Friday afternoon with hopes of getting on a flight to Roanoke, VA. But as so frequently happens, my travel plans took a turn and I actually ended up getting a different flight that put me in Greensboro, NC and I arrived at my hotel just after midnight. It was late and I was tired from my full day of work and travel, but I knew there was a Spare Time in

Glendale Open IX

The reason I returned to California on this particular weekend was because of an invite I received to play in a local Zone tournament. The Glendale Open IX took place at Jungle Zone Laser Tag in Glendale, CA and while it ended with a third place finish for Team NYLA (the name is a combination of New York for me and L.A. for my teammates Kyle, Antonio and James)… ….for me it started when I got an email from Nick who reached out to me after finding this blog! He actually invited me to a tournament way back in December, but the timing last year just did not work out, so I was really glad to learn that this event was happening during the summer when it was easier for me to travel. And after my l

Members Night at Invasion Laser Tag

Sometimes things work out better than you could plan. If my original travel plans had worked out I would have played Invasion Laser Tag in San Marcos on Friday, but instead I walked in right in the middle of members night and was welcomed as a visiting Laserforce member from Syracuse. When I walked up to the counter the woman there asked me how experienced I was and I replied “Level 6”. So she walked me over to the arena door where Shawn was loading up a game I was not familiar with called Counterstrike. How is it possible I’ve not heard of this? Well, because he created it…I suppose Shawn is the “Lenny” of this site programming original games. This was rather apropos because it was an elimi

California Quests

I had two very distinctively different experiences playing at the Laser Quest locations in Fullerton and Mission Viejo, CA. My first stop was Fullerton, which for some reason was not on my original trip agenda and I’m really not sure why. Of course with my itinerary changing as many times as it did over the course of getting to California it’s possible I had it on the list at one point, but I was appreciative that the game master at my last stop pointed out how close it was. I called ahead and was told that my reservation was in a game with four other players, however, when I arrived it was a packed house. That was a terrific surprise! I got there just as the group was going in for the game

Here On Laser Island

For many years I used to direct children’s theater. When I walked into Laser Island I got the sense that this is the kind of scene that I would have built if ever I had asked my students to perform a show based on Gilligan’s Island. The briefing and vesting area is all in the same room as the arena. Once you got past the entry sign the room was decorated with hand painted island themes from corner to corner of the single level space. I donned my Helios pack and walked my way around the room from the waterfall… …to the volcano… …and the ancient ruins in between, including a little structure that housed bases that were not working. I walked it because this game was packed with kids half my siz

Finding Atlantis at Lost Worlds

The arena at Lost Worlds Laser Tag in City of Industry, CA was one of the best I experienced on my trip. This is a Laserforce site and upon checking in I talked with the owner, “Big Boss” Brian, who assured me that I’d be able to sign in with my member card and gave me a tour of an impressive display of Atlantis themed art inside a quality two-level arena. This was a beautiful facility! Before you enter the arena there is briefing and I must say that game master Tatyana did one of the best live briefings I have ever seen. Her briefing presentation was funny and engaging rather than the usual monotonous rundown of the rules. After sitting through as many bad briefing sessions as I have over t

More Zone!

I had spent a full night tagging in Glendale and getting in some practice for the upcoming tournament (more on that when we get there) so I had just come off of a very full day of tag before starting all over again and playing my way down the rest of the state. On my last trip to California I played from Sacramento northbound. This time (since I had already started things off with San Diego) I decided to play the whole southern part of the state as best I could. So the next morning began with a visit to Ultrazone Alhambra. This part of the state is definitely heavy with Zone sites! So bring it on! This site uses Rift and in a strange way reminded me a little bit of FJ. That was nice. While s

Valencia Laser Tag

After a couple of tame tag experiences during the course of this day I thoroughly enjoyed playing just a couple more miles down the road at Valencia Laser Blast in Santa Clarita, CA. This arena was large enough to really play a decent game and had lots of ramps and levels throughout. I did a walkthrough with game master Xiomara before getting into a game. I was impressed with the space and excited to play some Hyper Blast in this setting. She did a preliminary briefing with me “since the other players have already played before.” I smiled to myself at this…there was no way she could have known just how many games of tag I have played, but I listened attentively nonetheless and before long we

Making My Way To Mountasia

Mountasia Family Fun Center in Santa Clarita was just a quick stop along my route because I wanted to experience as much as I could while in California, but I also knew I had to get to Glendale for practice before too long. So I was happy that there was a small game going in when I got there so I could experience this arena. However they put me in with a group of three young kids so this was NOT a time to be playing Cyberblast as intensely as I do at home. Instead I enjoyed teaching the kids how to do a few things to get a better score (i.e. pointing out the targets that were high above their heads so I know they wouldn’t have otherwise seen them. We scanned our cards and went in to the smal

Getting To Glowzone

My next stop was Glowzone in Woodland Hills, CA. To be honest I didn’t get a real high energy feel from this place, but it was…colorful! I was sent over to get in line by the L.A. Underground entrance. And then we suited up with Hyper Blast and were let into the arena. It was relatively small, but went back lengthwise further than I expected. There were about three distinct sections of the arena with a base right up front. I do think it was an attractive aesthetic. However, the arena map was not particularly distinctive and I actually found myself getting bored with the game rather quickly…of course that might be because the game seemed to go on indefinitely. At one point I watched the clock

Ultrazone Sherman Oaks

Now THIS is an impressive arena! When I got to Ultrazone Sherman Oaks it took me a couple of minutes to figure out where they were. It’s easy to identify the corner building where they are located. However, to get to the arena you go up to the top of an open air mall with a beautiful porch area outside the arena overlooking the shopping area below. At first glance the inside looks like a relatively small arcade. But once inside this arena is quite large and pretty unique. The three bases are each housed in interesting structures to mark red… Blue… And yellow… But what is particularly interesting about this arena are the various connectors between the bases. From a long tunnel stretching near

LazRfit: A Cardio Class Hybrid of Laser Tag and Parkour

At this moment there is only one place in the world to experience LazRfit and that is in Los Angeles. So I was L.A. bound early Saturday morning to get to the class on time. Upon arrival I met Lucie and Tarzan, owners of this very unique facility. This is way more than laser tag with a heavy focus on fitness. I got to go in with a class of eight players. The first thing we did was get an aerobic workout taught by Lucie on the exercise mats. It really is like a gym experience! Then we got some further instruction from Tarzan about the equipment and the game. LazRfit has their own design of laser tag equipment that is different from other tag systems in a couple of ways. The vest is very light

How I Almost Missed Playing Ultrazone San Diego

When I left the house on Friday morning I thought I was bound for Burbank by noon…but instead I spent about 12 hours at the Philadelphia Airport and found myself re-routed for San Diego by the evening…surprises happen! A few delays played havoc with my original game plan, but no biggie, I am used to rolling with travel changes. However, once I boarded the plane weather kept us from taking off for another couple of hours as we sat on the runway. Of course I definitely appreciate that no chances were taken with safety. However, I realized that there was no way that I’d be able to do all I had hoped to in San Diego because I was signed up for a LazRfit class in Los Angeles first thing in the mo

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