August 22nd, 2001 - I've decided to give these old pages a new home. The content is old, but perhaps it is still useful.
In the mid 1980's, a friend of mine told me about a place in Houston, TX (where I lived) called Star Laser Force where you wore "space suits" and ran around in a maze zapping other people with your "laser gun". Intrigued, I visited, experienced, and bought the t-shirt. This was as close as I'd seen to the "game center" known as Photon I read about in a computer magazine (Family Computing, perhaps?) a short while before. I was young, and the industry had barely been born. Later, I experienced an actual Photon center also in Houston which, sadly, years later ceased to exist and my laser tag gaming came to an end.
Move ahead almost a decade and I am at a CoCoFest computer show near Chicago, IL and the host club there has arranged for us to go to a place called Q-Zar, which was one of the many "new" laser tag gaming centers. A group of us went, and it was fun, though their equipment seemed primitive compared to the "ancient" (by technology standards) Photon arena I had formerly loved. A few years pass and one of the same people I played Q-Zar with an I had both ended up working for the same company in Des Moines, IA which just happened to have a laser tag arena of it's own, LazerX (Intersphere) and, more recently, a Q-Zar center (Farley's Lazer Tag). Soon, I was playing again and, although their technology still didn't quite "feel" as nice as my beloved Photon, the ability to discover "power ups" and other neat modern features at LazerX, and the two level maze at Farley's soon had me hooked.
With my job I travelled and soon played similar setups such as Planet Lazer in Vancouver BC, Canada, and Laser Quest in Tulsa, OK, among others. Was I hooked? Hardly, but spending a few bucks for a good and fun workout sure seemed to beat wasting the same amount on a bad movie. (Plus, if you don't like the movie you can't shoot anyone because of it...)
A few more days down the road, and I recall that home games such as the World's of Wonder Lazer Tag (anyone remember the short lived Saturday morning cartoon series, Lazer Tag Academy?) were a thing of the past. Or were they? Trips to a toy store revealed Laser Challenge and Laser Command, and another friend of mine (also somewhat connected to the formerly mentioned CoCoFest) showed me some more modern one-piece units he had found in California. Was laser tag still a "fad" over ten years past it's conception?
This brings us to today. Tiger Toys has brought back the original Lazer Tag in new form, and even the original Photon is making an effort to re-establish itself in the ever-growing commercial laser tag market. This page is here to serve as a launchpad to other more dedicated sites which have detailed information on both home and commercial laser gaming. Enjoy!
LaserLinks - More Coming Soon!