Today I was a hunter. My mission was to track down and eliminate my enemies while working my way through a labyrinth cloaked in shadows.
I did succeed in taking down my targets, and my mission would have been a complete success had it not been for my adversary Starburst – he beat me by 1100 points.
No, this wasn’t the Hunger Games (if it were, I wouldn’t be here to write about it). Today, my mission as Kit Kat was carried out during a session of laser tag in a two-story arena right here in Joplin at Lazer Force.
But isn’t that for kids?
Sure, laser tag is a fun activity for kids, but it’s also a blast for adults. Being able to release frustration in a safe and playful setting is a great stress reliever. When you’re in the arena, you don’t have the chance think about the worries in your everyday life because all of your attention is focused on sneaking up on your opponents while simultaneously trying to avoid becoming a target yourself.
Basically, laser tag is a glorified game of hide-and-seek. Each player wears an electronic vest and carries a laser gun. Your mission is to shoot your enemies and avoid being shot at yourself.
To tag people, you aim at your enemies’ vests and pull the trigger of your laser gun. If the laser beam hits a vest, that person’s vest will darken for 5 seconds before reactivating. During that time, the downed person is unable to shoot at anyone else.
You accumulate points by successfully hitting your human targets, plus finding and shooting the bonus beacons that are stationed on the first floor of the arena.
With the black lights and pumping music, each 13-minute tag session is an adrenaline rush. And each session is unpredictable. Sometimes you will snake your way through the zig-zagging walls on your own, and sometimes you will find yourself forming alliances so that you have a better chance of taking down the biggest threat. The dynamics of the game make laser tag a great choice for developing team-building skills in the workplace.
In the 6,000-square-foot maze of the arena, I felt like I was in an entirely different world, assuming a completely different persona. I’d back up against a wall with my laser gun drawn, peer out to make sure everything was clear, then dart to the next wall for cover. I felt as deft and light-footed as Katniss Everdeen.
But my fantasy was short-lived. There were times when I’d get tagged, turn a corner, then immediately get tagged again. During those times, I started to reevaluate my survival skills in general.
My clunky shoes didn’t help me, either, because you can’t sneak up on your enemy if you sound like a herd of elephants. Be sure to wear sneakers when you go.
When the session is finished, you can instantly see your score on a monitor outside.
You are identified by the name that is located on your electronic vest. I didn’t come in first during my latest round, but I did beat Mountain Dew (my husband), and that was enough of a victory for me.
If you don’t want to leave after one round, you can purchase multiple games. You can play arcade games in between tag sessions, or reserve a party room. You can event rent the entire facility.
Lazer Force offers something fun for adults as well as kids. So, instead of meeting your friends or coworkers at a bar, meet them at the arena.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Lazer Force is located at 408 S. Northpark Lane. Click here to visit its website.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.