The Origin and History of Laser Tag

Today, laser tag is a popular and fun sport that can be enjoyed by all age groups. You may have already played the game or have just heard of it but do you know how laser tag originated and how it developed? In this blog post, we’ll explore the origin and history of this popular recreational activity.

  • The Origin and History of Laser Tag

It was during the 1970s and 80s that the US army developed a technology that used infrared transmitters and detectors for combat training. Gradually consumer companies also used the technology that eventually developed into the game we enjoy today. It might seem surprising how a serious government training tool became a commercially available sport. But it’s an interesting fact that a lot of technologies have evolved into something far from their original purpose!

In the early consumer market, toy companies were inspired by space-age themes and science fiction movies. Two companies are currently credited as having come up with the early versions of modern laser tag equipment. The first known laser tag toys using infrared light and sensor was manufactured and marketed as the Star Trek Super Phaser II Target Game by Mego Corporation and Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns by South Bend Toy Company in 1979.

The Super Phaser was designed as a blaster game featuring a two-player format. One player would wear a target reflector badge and the other player would target and hit the wearer with the sonic buzzer gun. The game was recommended to play in a darker environment to spot the emitted blaster.

The South Bend Toy Company produced the phaser guns inspired by the Type-2 phaser pistol models that are seen in the show Star Trek. These guns closely resemble what modern laser tag equipment became. On the front of the guns, a transmitter and sensor were located and when a target was hit, the gun would play the sound effect of an explosion.

  • The Evolution of Laser Tag

George A Carter III is given the credit of creating the modern laser tag industry. While watching Star Wars IV in 1977, he was inspired to create a scored laser tag arena-based game. In 1984, he opened Photon laser tag centre in Dallas, Texas and about two years later, Photon toys were released publicly. This led the market to be quickly filled with similar toys manufactured by several companies. Unfortunately, the fad was short lived and not only Photon, but a lot of laser toy manufacturing companies went out of business in the early 90s.

However, the trend that started off during the 1980s and was anticipated to fade away with the end of the decade not only evolved and gained popularity later but it’s still growing! Today, there are laser tag arenas all over the world and the sport is loved by all.
Laser tag has come a long way from a sci-fi inspired concept to a popular sports facility. Experience a laser tag game at DP Lazer Maze and see how we’re continuing on the legacy. Book online or call us today at (905)856-1637.

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