Thursday, July 9, 2020

New Addition Brings Back Memories

I have had a VERY interesting week so far and look forward to seeing what happens next. Of course I’ll have more on that soon, but in the meantime let me share something I’m excited to add to my collection.

This classic Laser Blast pack was obtained from an FEC in the Missouri area. Since I played there during one of my more recent travels (relatively speaking) and they had a newer version of this system I presume this is one of the many packs they had left over after they upgraded.

I’m always appreciative when packs become available for me to add to my personal collection. Some have been gifts and others I have sought out. They not only represent moments in time for the laser tag industry, but for me personally I love to look at them fondly and remember all the great experiences I’ve had playing on the various systems. No matter how or where it came from, they remind me of wonderful memories along the journey. This one will not only remind me of the particular FEC that it came from, but also other times I have played Laser Blast using packs just like it. For example, the time I played Blast in New Jersey while killing time before attending the Miss NY pageant and I showed up at the arena in a full-length skirt and dress shoes (yep, still played!) …or the time I visited a second-floor roller-skating arena and they pulled the packs out of a closet while we got briefing up on a balcony overlooking the mall…or the awesome time I had with my friends up in Canada playing in stealth mode for the very first time with Garth shrieking every time I tagged him! These are a few of the memories I have from using this very same kind of pack at many of the laser tag arenas I have been to. Now I’m glad to add it to my “little museum” private collection of packs that always make me smile when I think about the times that I’ve had playing on so many different laser tag systems. I’m one lucky lady!

Comments or Questions?

Monday, July 6, 2020

An Interview with Alexey Tereschenkov of LASERWAR Laser Tag

I would like to thank Alexey Tereschenkov, Business Director for LASERWAR Laser Tag in Russia for taking time for an interview with me to discuss the company he and his twin brother, Sergey Tereschenkov, launched in 2008.

I am hoping to be able to play their indoor Cybertag system before too long! ;)

In the meantime, enjoy this latest addition to the Laser Tag Museum’s Oral History of Laser Tag series.

Comments or Questions?

Chicagoland Grand Scrim: A Laser Tag Audio Drama

I’ve had a blast being part of the cast for the “2018 Chicagoland Grand Scrim” mock-radio drama following the “live action” of a laser tag tournament from the perspective of sports radio announcers. For the past few weeks, even though actually playing laser tag was not possible, I was still able to be part of something that is creatively keeping the spirit of the game alive through theater of the mind.

This multi-episode project was written by Daniel “MamaHydra” Leach who portrays the play-by-play announcer, Mark Agnew. Tiana Daniels is playing sideline reporter, Jessica MacDonald. Meanwhile I play the part of color commentator Renee Roccasalva.

This episode was engineered by Chris Wheeler from Anagram Sound. It picks up with game 2 of the tournament inspired by the LQ competitive scene. There will be more episodes to come, so I invite you to follow along and live some tournament action vicariously through our mock-radio audio presentations. Enjoy!

Comments or Questions?

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Erik Guthrie Discusses Zone’s Social Distancing Software Unveiled This Week

During a time when social distancing has become so important, the laser tag industry is just starting to re-emerge with operators preparing and beginning to re-open their businesses that were shut down through the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes the new innovation announced this week by Zone Laser Tag all the more timely and relevant. Zone has just unveiled their new social distancing software (ZAPS) as a way to enforce social distancing inside the arena during a game. Erik Guthrie, Vice President of Sales for Zone Laser Tag and curator of the Laser Tag Museum took some time to discuss this latest update for Helios Pro and Helios 2 systems as well as how the laser tag industry is coming through this unprecedented time in history.

Thank you again to Erik Guthrie for sharing the latest on both this new update and the state of the laser tag industry.
Comments or Questions?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

An Interview with Maree Harris of Laserforce

I’d like to thank Maree Harris of Laserforce for taking time for an interview during last year’s IAAPA to share her unique perspective as the world’s longest-running female laser tag operator.

I’m pleased to share this as the latest addition to the the Oral History of Laser Tag series. See what Maree (aka Aunty Mars) had to say here...

It’s been three months since most of us have been able to enjoy a game of laser tag and I’m looking forward to regions in my state hopefully moving into Phase 4 of re-opening within the next couple of weeks. This has been a challenging time for everyone, certainly including most laser tag and amusement business owners. However, it’s inspiring to look at someone like Maree who has longevity as a laser tag operator to serve as a reminder that the laser tag industry is resilient and we can take heart that laser tag is a time-tested and ever-evolving pastime that will return as an entertainment option before too long...and of course I will be there blogging about it when that time arrives!

And by the way, my thanks to Laserforce for the shout out on their social media!

Comments or Questions?
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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Where Do I Tag Next?

When laser tag arenas open throughout the country I will continue to show up, support and blog about them. Right now I’m looking for info on which states are allowing laser tag to open and when. The pins on this map mark the arenas that I’ve already played. Now I would love suggestions to help me figure out where else to go next once things re-open.

Shout out to Chook for the excellent suggestion that I make a second map marking the sites which I have yet to play, but that I would like to get to in the future. That will help me set some new travel goals, so I’ll be working on that while I keep tabs on where I will be able to play again the soonest. I’ve heard that Ohio will be allowing arenas to open up as early as the 10th of this month (which is this Wednesday) and I am VERY tempted to take a road trip. However, for now I just want to encourage people to do two things…stay safe and also stay supportive. Of course, use caution and common sense when you go anywhere, but I personally will not allow fear to rule my life and fear will not prevent me from getting back to enjoying the game I love so much as soon as it is reasonable to do so. I believe in supporting local arenas in particular (the FECs are great to play, but the local owners and operators are the ones I am particularly concerned about). As I watch what has happened to local businesses in the past three months I am all the more an advocate of helping them to get back up and running (safely) as soon as possible. My part may be small, but together we can all help them get back on track.

You may remember (especially because I haven’t written too many posts since March) that I was traveling for tag on the other side of the country during the week when COVID-19 started to really be responded to here in the U.S. I self-quarantined out of precaution, but fortunately I was healthy through the entire ten weeks I stayed at home. That was on the heels of playing at 15 different arenas in four states. I’m not suggesting that traveling to that magnitude is a great idea right now, but what I saw at many of those arenas back in March was a deliberate effort to step up cleanliness procedures and keep customers safe while they continued to enjoy laser tag. I witnessed firsthand separation of vests for disinfecting, timed schedules for spraying down equipment and new protocols that had me feeling more confident about playing at these arenas even before our country closed things down. Now that we are all better educated and know more about how to keep our social distance (which has always been a good idea and in some games keeping a five foot distance from other players in the arena was already being recommended for safety…an extra foot of distance doesn’t seem unmanageable) I look forward to safely returning to laser tag sites and supporting the local businesses that make it possible for us to enjoy the game.

So, please drop me a note if you know when your state will allow laser tag arenas to re-open and if there is one that you think I should pay a visit to please suggest it because while others are dealing with spring fever, I am definitely here with a case of “tag fever” and I can’t wait to get back to it!

Comments or Questions?


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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Upcoming Laser Tag Mock Radio Broadcast

It’s been far too long since I’ve shared anything about laser tag on this blog. And of course, that’s because it’s been far too long since there have been any laser tag locations open anywhere. But I am glad to say that it appears there are opportunities emerging for some to re-open in certain parts of the country and I look forward to the time when New York tag arenas will be opening again too, even though we are still likely a few weeks away from that happening.

I have been working from home ever since returning from my last tag trip in March and I only just returned to working from my office this past Wednesday, so I really haven’t had much new to share until this week. While I continue to wait for my next opportunity to get back into a laser tag game, I’ve been offered an opportunity to use my broadcasting background and lend my voice to a mock radio broadcast drama that will help keep the spirit of the game alive in the meantime. This is a player-created project written by Laser Quest player Daniel Leach (aka MamaHydra) who is assembling a cast to bring to life an audio drama following the “live action” of a laser tag tournament. I’ll be playing the part of color commentator Renee Roccasalva and I’m looking forward to getting back into a creative voiceover project, particularly one that showcases laser tag.

On a somewhat related note, this photo memory from another voiceover project popped back onto my radar last week because it was taken almost exactly four years ago when I was recording in NYC with Joanna Cassidy. It’s astoundingly poignant to see memories like this pop up right now because it reminds me of just how much has changed over the past few years. I remember that following this session several of us were walking up and down the streets of Manhattan in search of a place to sit down and have dinner. Even sitting down at a restaurant is not possible in New York state right now under the current restrictions! I’m so lucky that I got to travel and have the opportunities I did when I did (laser tag and otherwise) because so much of it is just not possible to do right now. As I write this, I continue to hear news reports…not just about the state of our nation from the COVID pandemic, but also about the riots that are happening right now in cities throughout our country. I don’t know when travel will be safe or possible again and that makes me wonder about a lot of things that will likely be different once we get to the other side of all this. So, until that time, I’m glad to have an opportunity to record from home and live my adventures vicariously through a creative outlet like this mock laser tag broadcast. I’ll certainly share the link once this project is completed and I thank Dan, both for taking the initiative to launch this creative effort and for the opportunity for me to be involved. When it’s done and available to listen to, I hope that wherever you are you are safe and get to feel like you were right there in the middle of all the laser tag action!

Comments or Questions?


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