In 1986, Worlds of Wonder unleashed Lazer Tag and my world was never the same (note: In the 80s kids played with fake guns and could still carry pocket knives to school.) It was a simple enough game. Use a gun to shoot a sensor on your friends chest. Shoot him enough times and you win. Laser-style games are still popular in some arcades and malls, but the late mid 80s were a golden age for the technology. My friends and I took advantage of this beautiful high techery years after they stopped running Lazer Tag commercials.
When you played this game outside at night you could spot the blinking target from a hundred yards away. There was nothing sweeter then squeezing off a shot from behind a tree and watching your enemy scramble. Often falling over themselves to get away. Lazer Tag is dangerous, but it is also hauntingly addictive.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, my eyes blurry with strobing red dots. I can still hear the screams of my buddies who got eliminated in the empty lot by the river. It was all my fault. Why did I have to survive! Why??
Lazer Tag changes a man. Especially when you are risking your neck on the front lines every night.
Sometime I wonder if I might have been a different man if I had only made it into the Lazer Tag Academy.