July 6, 2018

Laser Tag: History, Fun Facts, and The Best Experience Minnesota Has To Offer

Laser tag is safe, fun and exhilarating activity for people of all ages.

And as a family entertainment center based on a foundation of fun, we pride ourselves on offering the best laser tag in Minnesota.

But where did laser tag come from, and how did it become such a global phenomenon?

Today, we’re going to learn all about the origins of laser tag, along with 7 fun facts about the industry that may surprise you.

A Brief History Of Laser Tag

The First Laser Tag Toys

Laser tag has its origins in the late 1970s, when toy companies were scrambling to capitalize on crazes like Star Wars and Star Trek.

The first consumer devices created were children’s toys, meant for non-commercial use. Milton Bradley’s South Bend Toy Company created Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns, which used infrared beams of light to disable opponent guns.

phaser gun

The box for the South Bend Toy Company’s Star Trek Electronic Phaser Guns

Similarly, the Mego Corporation developed the Star Trek Super Phaser II Target Game, which armed players with guns and targets, resembling a rudimentary version of modern laser tag games played today.

super phaser II

An unboxed Super Phaser II Target Game, now a collector’s item sold all over the internet

Laser Tag Technology In Military Training

Laser tag’s infrared beam technology wasn’t only used as a game. It was also implemented in military training.

The US Army’s Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) was developed to help training soldiers develop combat-readiness in a risk-free way, by using infrared weapons and targets.

The Commercial Laser Tag Industry

In 1982, entrepreneur George A Carter III—inspired by Star Wars—created the first scored arena-based laser tag game.

Two years later, he opened the first Photon laser tag center, in Dallas. Multiple locations soon followed, and the rise of commercial laser tag was officially underway.

photon laser tag

A great image of live gameplay at a Photon laser tag center

Photon’s equipment, with multiple sensors and infrared guns resembled an early version of what you will see in most commercial laser tag facilities today.

7 Fun Facts About Laser Tag

1. Too many cooks in the kitchen?

The most participants in a laser tag survival match is 307 and was achieved by E Combat at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, on 6 April 2013. Imagine how much of a free-for-all that must have been!

2. Why didn’t they invite us! So jealous...

The longest marathon playing laser tag is 25 hours, achieved by Q-Zar Codevilla in Codevilla, Pavia, Italy, from the 16 to the 17 of April, 2017. We’re just sad we weren’t there.

q-zar codevilla

3. Laser tag birthday parties? Yes please!

Laser tag birthday parties are becoming extremely common, and are actually the top source of the laser tag industry’s growth over the past few years.

4. Laser tag is growing!

Data shows that the laser tag industry is experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 9%.

5. Strike!

Some research suggests that laser tag is overtaking the bowling industry when it comes to popularity. It’s been estimated that laser tag will surpass bowling by 2032. Don’t worry, we still love bowling, and it’s not going anywhere!

6. Who said millennials are lazy?

Laser tag is becoming more and more popular among millennials. It’s not just for kids! Especially with innovations in themes, technology and the tactical nature of the game, it’s becoming a prime attraction for adults—gamers and non-gamers alike.

7. Laser tag promotes safety and exercise

Have you ever been hit by a paintball? It hurts! Laser tag throws that discomfort and mess out the window, providing an extremely safe option that is sure to exhilarate without the presence of real projectiles.

Even better—anyone who’s played laser tag can tell you that it’s an unbelievable source of exercise. Have energetic kids who need active play? Want to blow off some steam and get some exercise of your own? Laser tag is the solution.

Laser Tag At Big Thrill Factory: The Ultimate Modern, Premier Laser Tag Facility

With multiple unique options available to all age groups, Big Thrill Factory offers the best laser tag in Minnesota.

Let’s do some exploring!

Big Thrill Factory Laser Tag

laser tag at big thrill factory

Sure—last time you played laser tag, you probably had a great time. It was action-packed, tactical, and exciting.

Well guess what:

This is better.

Big Thrill Factory’s laser tag facilities are one-of-a-kind, two-floor attraction filled with strobe lights, sounds and steaming pipes.

The facilities accommodate up to 30 players per session, so grab a group of friends and get pumped!

Zombie Blasters

zombie blasters at big thrill factory

If you’re looking for things to do in Minnesota, look no further than Zombie Blasters at Big Thrill Factory’s Minnetonka location. Rather than strapping on a laser tag vest and playing against your friends, you'll be immersed into a walk-through shooting gallery in this fun laser tag alternative.

Whether you’re the type of person who wishes Halloween was an all-year-long occurence, or you’re just a thrill seeker, you should try your hand at this immersive challenge.

Zombie Blasters isn’t just an activity, it’s a fun and unique experience you won’t find anywhere else. Developed in partnership with ‘Redwood Kings’ John and Ron Daniels, co-founders of Daniels Wood Land, Zombie Blasters was custom designed to provide an eerie, adrenaline-filled experience.

In our walk-through shooting gallery, you’ll navigate through an apocalyptic setting with realistic sound to hit moving zombie targets.

Sure, you’re not shooting the infrared beams at your friends and family, but you are practicing in the event of a zombie invasion.

Laser Tag Is Here To Stay

Whether you’re an avid laser tag player or just an occasional participant, it’s tough to debate how fun and exciting of an activity it is.

With continuous technological development and new creative and tactical themes such as Zombie Blasters, it’s time for you to immerse yourself and your kids into this fast-growing activity.

If you’re in the Midwest, look no further than Big Thrill Factory for the ultimate laser tag experience.