Modern laser tag arenas impress with the spectacular design and futuristic equipment.
30-40 years ago, this sort of entertainment could only be dreamed about. Nowadays it is the sort of leisure that millions of people love.
The technologies and arena laser tag were rapidly developing. The more interesting it is to look back and remember the first steps in the industry.
The year 1975 can be taken as a starting point. It was then that the U.S. Army land forces received the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES in short. It was intended for practicing shooting skills and was used in personnel training. The MILES system was successfully used for training soldiers until the early 90s, when it was replaced by a more advanced version.
South Bend Toys used a similar principle of shooting and hitting imitation in its developments. Based on it, the developers came up with a new attraction - a game called Star Trek Phasers. Inspired by the Star Trek series, in 1979 the company released a set of two blasters with integrated sensors. The game was designed for outdoor games. They came on sale only in 1986.
The very name lazer tag (that's how it was originally written with the letter "z") was first used by Worlds-of-Wonder in 1988-89. It produced game sets for individual consumers who could purchase laser tag weapons for personal use. The first prototypes of modern game vests appear.
The popularity of the game was growing, and more and more manufacturers wanted to apply the term to their developments. Soon the name was changed slightly – "z" was changed to "s". The new name was applied to all laser tag systems.
The iconic figure in the history of laser tag is George Carter from the USA. He was so impressed with Star Wars that in 1977 he made a game packed with laser fights like in the famous series. His commercial project was called Foton. But laser tag wasn't just a way for Carter to make money. He was convinced that laser tag would be the sport of the 21st century, and he took a thorough approach to development. In 1984, in the city of Dallas (Texas) the first Foton arena was opened. It got a lot of popularity.
Foton set the general concept of arena laser tag for many years ahead – both in technological and stylistic terms. Most of the existing arena laser tag projects are the direct hires of Foton. Now the products are no longer manufactured; there are no operating arenas. But Foton's successors are thriving.
One of the world's most popular brands is Q-Zar. This laser tag system was created by an Australian Geoff Haselhurst in 1987. Then he sold it to an Irish firm called Leisure Corp. With Q-Zar, the laser tag is no longer just a mock battle. It has acquired athletic features. It thus became a truly mass phenomenon throughout the world. New arenas grew like mushrooms after the rain.
At the same time, other major manufacturers also entered the market within a few years: LaserTron, Laser Quest, LaserForce, Laser Storm and others.
So, in a few decades, laser tag has come a long way. Different varieties of it appeared, each of which has its own army of admirers. The world began to hold laser tag tournaments.
After four decades, rental laser tag is still one of the most popular game directions. Naturally, it's most common in the United States. There are several thousand clubs on the planet in total.
Laser tag is a profitable business. Having appeared at the turn of the 70-80s, it did not become a thing of the past, but transformed to the demands of the public. And although the parallel development of PC games was on the rise, people still loves "laser war" in reality. This trend has intensified nowadays: healthy lifestyle is very poplar and many people prefer to spend time actively. Both children and adults come at the arena to play in large cities, laser tag arenas are a favorite place for children's celebrations and corporate parties.
The process of improving laser tag systems does not stop for a minute, which means that arena laser tag has a great future. What the 21st century arenas will be like, we'll see it very soon.
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