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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Photon. The Light Shines!

NEW YORK, July 31 — Since the school year is about to start, I am getting teary eyed and nostalgic about my childhood. Wah ha ha. I remember a laser tag game called Photon in the 1980s. Photon was basically the "Cowboys and Indians" game with plastic electronic equipment. It consisted of receivers (chest module and helmet) and pistol shaped emitters. The emitters were fired at the receivers, and an alarm would be trigger by the receiver system. This indicated a hit, and eliminate the player from the game. It was the coolest thing since the Pet Rock.

There were Photon game centers everywhere. At its height, there were 45 photon arenas across the United States (not including the rival, Worlds Of Wonder's Lazer Tag).

Due to the lack of interest, Photon declined in popularity and died a slow painful death. However, there is still hope! A single functioning Photon arena still exists in Laurel, Maryland (near Washington, D.C.). It's called XP Laser Sport. It's only open to groups through reserved appointments.

Another Photon group is building a new Photon arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They are still constructing the arena, and they are soliciting donations through Paypal. Their official website:

The Photon craze also spawned a television tokusatsu show, which had a short run. On Saturday mornings, I remember getting up at 6:00 AM to watch this show. They always showed it with the Saturday morning cartoons. It consisted of an international cast and a uniquely Japanese production. The production quality was consistent with 80s tokusatsu shows like Kamen Rider Black. The bad costumes, bad make-up and awful special effects really bring me back to the 80s.

More Information on Photon:

Ohh... Did I forget to mention Photon chicks?
James Leung Man-Fai


Gooberzilla said...

I remember Laser Tag as one of the toys that I always wanted, but only the rich kids in the neighborhood could afford. Never heard of Photon, but it looks cool.

I've played many different laser-based tag games at various commercial arenas in different parts of the U.S., and I have to say that Laser Eclipse is the best one I've yet experienced. It includes a multi-level, tiered combat ramp in the center of the arena, lots of crates and obstacles to take cover behind, and of course the requisite smoke and blaring hard rock music. The neatest feature Laser Eclipse has to offer is a group of stations (called Gems) scattered about the arena. At the Gems you can buy upgrades such as Rapid Fire, which turns your laser into a sweeping beam of devastation when you hold the trigger down, and Invisibility, which turns off all the lights on your pack. And if you don't have enough points to purchase the upgrade, the Gem zaps you with its own laser in retaliation.

One time, I got a little two enthusiastic during a Laser Eclipse match and I ended up walking face-first into a crate, stunning myself and destroying my pack in the process. I felt rather bad about damaging a $5000 piece of equipment and was going to say I was sorry, but since I was bleeding from a cut above my eye, the shift manager apologized to me and offered me a pass for a free game. :-)

Stryfer said...

Man, I remember Photon from when I was a kid. I even had a few books on the show. I used to be in love with the chick. lol.

I've always been meaning to hunt down the videos and after a few years of doing nothing, decided to google it and tadaa! your site popped up.

thank you for the trip down memory lane.