Last Friday I was invited to a birthday party at a laser tag joint. Never having participated before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now older and wiser, I can clear up some misconceptions that other laser-tag virgins may have:
A. Laser tag is not played in zero-g. This was both reassuring (for those of us prone to motion sickness) and a slight disappointment (to those of us who think zero-g would be fun even with (or especially with) motion sickness).
B. The movies don’t reflect the real rules: when you are tagged and your blaster is out of commission, it is NOT permissible to use the butt of your blaster to take out other opponents. Not the other “adults,” and especially not the kids. Live and learn. (<Shee niou> high-tech Alliance crap!)
C. You should
wear black. Even when you are doing your best to keep your Gothier side down for the sake of a birthday party with kids, this is a good idea. The play room is dark, save for black lights. My jeans and shirt made me glow like a radioactive Kermit. My sneakers, which I wore for the sake of stability, were brighter than a thousand suns. I made an excellent
D. There are no friends in laser tag. There may be alliances. Be careful. For example, one of the younger attendees approached me as soon as play started.
“Dana, there are a lot of people here,” she said, looking up at me, very serious. “I’m gonna need some help.”
“Okay,” I said. “What’s the plan?”
“You hit’em high,” she said grimly, “and I’ll hit ‘em low.”
Which worked fine, until we got separated, and I was on my own. Then I met up with my “friend” Toni
, the one who’d invited me to the party (it was for her daughter, Maggie). We hung together for a while, but I seemed to be getting tagged a lot. Later on, I found out that she’d been blasting me when my back was turned. In fact, according to my score sheet, she tagged me more than anyone else.
See what I mean? Trust no one.
Before the party, I asked my husband about playing laser tag. He outlined some of the basics: tagging and being tagged, lots of people running around in the dark, obstacles, walls. Then he asked, cautiously, “Is this a good game for a middle-aged woman who is at once hyper-competitive and
largely lacking in coordination—with bad knees?”
Well…no, probably not. And hell, yes!
(Thanks to the Clan Kelner, who really know how to party. I had a great time!)