Help support TMP

"The Great Laser War of 1986-1988" Topic

4 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Modern Media Message Board

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board

Action Log

20 May 2020 9:17 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Modern Media board

Areas of Interest

Science Fiction

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Ruleset

Featured Profile Article

The Simtac Tour

The Editor is invited to tour the factory of Simtac, a U.S. manufacturer of figures in nearly all periods, scales, and genres.

Current Poll

265 hits since 20 May 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 8:35 p.m. PST


"Today, in the United States, laser tag is an $700 USD million dollar-a-year business with over 3,000 locations serving up close quarters battles in darkened arenas with IR beams dancing about as the young and the young-at-heart battle for domination and a good time. In 1977, fellow Texan George Carter witness the power of Star Wars, and the exchange of directed energy bolts fueled the inspiration for a high-tech gaming system that featured invisible "laser" beams and sensors that all upgraded the game of tag into the computer age. This system that George Carter invested years and thousands of dollars became known to entire generation has: Photon: the Ultimate Game on Planet Earth. On March 28th, 1984, the first dedicated Photon arena center in Dallas, Texas and just six months later, Lazer Zone would follow. By 1986, George Carter's emerging Photon arenas was on its way to become a profitable franchise business opportunity as an home based laser tag came onto the scene of the wider laser tag industry: Worlds of Wonder's sleek system known as Lazer Tag. This set the stage for economic contest for the hearts, minds, and cash of laser tag warriors both young and middle aged broke out between the two system and there could be only one victor in the Christmas 1986 season. This was the Great Laser War of 1986-1988 and it was defining moment of my childhood just as much as the battle of the video game consoles and the bloody Cola Wars. Sit back and let FWS tell you the tale of high adventure and IR laser beams in a time called the 1980's…

When you read the genesis stories for the early laser tag systems, there is a common threat: the blaster battles of 1977's Star Wars, that desire to engage in those types of futuristic combat led to the invention of an nearly billion dollar industry here in America. Much like the impact of toys, cartoons, tv shows, movies, and books; these laser tag systems inspirited a new generation of military science fiction creators, like me, and they served as part of their overall experience in becoming an contributor to the wider world of Military SF. This economic contest between Lazer Tag and Photon was a brief moment, but I thought it was worth discussing because it is just damned interesting that two competing laser tag systems duked it out in Christmas of 1986 and I was there, man. This is one of those blogposts I just had to do and so bear with me…"

Main page



EJNashIII26 May 2020 10:40 a.m. PST

I have always enjoyed the game. The only sad thing is that it really has progressed at all since the 80s.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2020 10:01 p.m. PST



billclo29 May 2020 6:16 p.m. PST

I remember playing it somewhere in the Baltimore MD area back in the late '80s, and it was a load of fun.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.