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The History of Laser Tag

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Laser tag is a fun game many people see in entertainment centers across the country. Whether you've played it before or not, you might still want to know its history. The following is information about laser tag and how it has become a worldwide phenomenon.


When was laser tag invented?

Laser tag came into creation in the late '70s and early '80s. People were fascinated with the photons and phasers used in classic shows like "Star Trek." Consumer and military interests grew simultaneously as various product developers created items based on infrared technology.


Two toys created in the '70s were the precursors of modern laser tag games; Star Trek Super Phaser II Target Game and Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns. The creators of the Super Phaser II game encouraged its buyers to play the game at nighttime so that they could see the fantastic lights. The other game was a replica of the phasers used on the "Star Trek" show. Both were terrific games that garnered popularity quickly.


When did laser tag become popular?

Laser tag entertainment truly began in 1984 when George A. Carter III developed Photon, a game inspired by the blasters he saw in Star Wars.


Photon was a team-based game that featured an arena with multiple levels, catwalks, mazes, and an observation deck. Players gained points for shooting other players and the enemy team's base. The game gained massive popularity when it first came out. However, its popularity declined rapidly, and the Photon company went out of business in 1989. Thankfully, laser tag never went out of style, and Photon set the standard for what is now known as traditional laser tag.


Numerous companies developed their own brands of similar games and had varying success with them. These versions ranged from the budget-friendly family laser tag sets used at home for birthday parties and special events to commercial-quality military-based equipment and games.


Where can you play laser tag now?

Traditional laser tag can be found at local bowling alleys, video arcades, and family fun centers. There are even dedicated laser tag locations around as well. Commercial traditional laser tag centers usually have large rooms set up with dark lighting so players can get the full effect of the lasers.


Alternatively, tactical laser tag centers also exist where players spread out in a military-type field and compete with other participants to complete team-based missions.


Now you know a little about laser tag and how it came about. If you've never played before, grab a friend and schedule a session at the nearest laser tag arena, and you might enjoy it.

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