Gaming · Glasgow

A day of laser tag

Remember how I said me and my friends are an enormous bunch of dorks and that the next time we meet up we’ll probably play laser tag? Well, I was right.

Having not played since I was in primary school (I guess I would have been 9 years old) I was still very much up for a game. We briefly debated which of Glasgow’s laser tag places to visit before being steered towards the one in Clydebank by recommendations from someone’s much younger sibling.

I can’t recommend Clydebank itself for a visit, it’s pretty run down, but I wasn’t there to absorb the culture and the scenery, I was there to laser people in the chest. I have been forced through laser safety training courses as part of my PhD, normally I have to be very responsible with lasers or I could find myself in legal trouble. Playing with lasers was going to be something of a novelty.

A day of laser tag
Laser tag kits: You put on these things like backpacks. They have a bunch of sensors on them which can tell if you’ve been shot, as does your gun. Image credit: Wikipedia

The laser tag place is called Planet Lazer. So, y’know, nil points for naming. However, they run a mean laser tag place. They’re part of a larger complex that also does go-karting. There’s a a little cafe inside where you can get drinks and snacks, or wait to meet people, a few arcade style games and, most importantly, the laser tag room.

We played two games, the first with our group of nine and a couple of kids. Our group split into two teams and the kids made a third and we all would have felt bad for playing against them except that they were really good. They comfortably destroyed us. It was embarrassing. I hate children with skills.

It was also lots of fun. Lots of screaming and breaking into giggles. Lots of shooting people in the back and running away. Lots of shooting your team mates because you’re on edge and just wildly shoot at anyone who moves.

The second round brought in another team of “grown ups.” I mean, obviously I use the word loosely here. Since there were more people playing, or possibly because everyone playing was over 16, the people managing the arena decided to fill it with smoke. That really changed the atmosphere of the game – there was much more sneaking and paranoia and much less screaming and giggling.

I did far, far worse in the second game than in the first, which I’d like to put down to the place being more crowded but realistically it’s probably because we’re all rookies and skills at stuff like that appear to fluctuate wildly when you’re a beginner.

Afterwards, we had planned to go to R’s for a barbecue. However, this being Scotland, we got caught in a mild hailstorm on the way over (in Glasgow it snowed. Yes, in April). We opted for pizza instead. R’s partner has been learning card tricks and showed us a few, which, thanks to the crowd, inevitably descended into a discussion about mathematics. We’re all terrible people, I guess. We also had a quick round of Exploding Kittens because laser tag and mathematics didn’t make it a nerdy enough day by itself.

We’ve agreed to do it again soon and I actually think we will. It would be even better if we could get a big enough group to book out the whole thing. Also, next time, S is going to bring his archer girlfriend, J. I think I’ll suggest that we split the teams boy-girl.

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