What Is Laser Tag and How Do You Play It?
Laser tag has been around since the early 1980’s and has grown in popularity ever since.
Also known as lazer tag, lasertag and laser skirmish, the game can now be played at many indoor or outdoor laser tag centers, or at home with your very own laser tag set.
Many say Star Trek was the big inspiration behind laser tag. It’s no surprise that the first laser tag guns on the market were the very successful Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns.
Jump on eBay and you may even find yourself a box of these vintage laser guns. Definitely a collector’s item for the true die-hard laser tag fan!
What Is Laser Tag?
Laser tag is a recreational game for teams or individuals where players basically need to score points by shooting (also called “tagging”) targets. You do this with a laser gun that you hold in your hands. Targets are typically placed on vests carried by your opponents or they are attached to the guns. In laser tag arenas there’s often other targets too that, when tagged, will give you and your team bonus points.
Usually, when you hit an opponent from the other team, you earn points that count towards the total points for the team. At the end of a game, one team wins and one player, with the most points, is declared the best player.
Over the years, laser tag has evolved enormously. Some do take this game very seriously and consider it a sport. Competitive sporting events are held every year where laser tag is taken to a whole new level. Think tactical team configurations, predefined game goals, combat strategies, and so on.
There are also special variations to the game, such as capturing a flag, protecting the team leader, elimination games, and many more.
Basic Rules of Laser Tag
Laser tag is certainly not a very complicated game. Here are some very basic rules:
No physical contact between players
Players are meant to shoot other players from different teams, but they are not supposed to physically touch each other. This is to avoid injuries and to avoid physically stronger players to have an advantage.
Players aim and shoot on infrared-sensitive targets carried by opponents. Depending on the equipment, targets can be the guns or vests that players need to wear.
Laser tag is to be played between teams. A team can be as small as one person, but it’s best to play with a minimum of two players per team.
Where Can You Play Laser Tag?
Laser tag is typically played in big entertainment centers, often combined with other action games such as bowling. Playing laser tag in a (semi) professional indoor laser tag arena is one of the best live action game experiences you can have. Especially when you’re playing with teams that take the game very seriously.
Such laser tag battles can get very intense and fierce. Trust me when I say that it’s a solid cardio workout, even though you’re not meant to be running around like a maniac. The smoke, fog, light and sound effects in an arena all add up to the experience.
The big drawback with these laser tag arenas is that they can get a bit expensive. Keep in mind though that the bigger your group and the more rounds you buy, the more affordable it gets.
Also, there may not be a laser tag center close to where you live. This is where home laser tag guns come to the rescue.
In recent years, home laser tag has become hugely popular and it’s not hard to understand why. The laser tag equipment you can buy these days is usually of very decent quality. Not just that, home laser tag equipment is also very affordable. For as little as $100 you can get yourself a good quality set of laser tag guns that you can use over and over again. Play as often as you like, at home or in the park, with friends or with colleagues.
Of course, you can also get much more expensive laser tag guns and sets, and they are all worth the investment. They are very robust and durable and will last for many years.
Why Should You Play Laser Tag?
Laser tag has some notable advantages, when compared to other action games such as paintball, bowling or video games.
It’s a great workout
Laser tag is intense, and with all the walking, hiding, aiming, you’ll be sweating by the end of the game. Basically, laser tag is a fun workout.
It’s very safe
Laser tag is intense but safe. You’re shooting with harmless laser guns and no physical contact is allowed.
It’s very social
Laser tag is a very social game! Laser tag is usually played in multiple teams so you get to play with a lot of other people, especially when playing in a laser tag center. And after the game you can go for a bite or a few drinks. If you have your own laser tag equipment, invite your friends, neighbors, schoolmates or work colleagues over for some serious team bonding.
It’s very affordable
Even though playing in a laser tag center can get a bit expensive, if you’re in a larger group and you buy multiple games, laser tag won’t hurt your wallet too much. And just like with bowling or paintball, laser tag is not something you would do every night.
If you buy your own laser tag set however, this epic game becomes very affordable.
Who Can Play Laser Tag?
Laser tag is an exciting game that can be played by the young and the young at heart. Typically, players need to be minimal 8 years old to be able to play in a laser tag arena.
Laser tag is also great for a night out with friends, corporate group bonding events, birthday parties, and other types of group functions.