How did the laser tag begin?

How did the laser tag begin?

Today the word "laser tag" is often explained by a short, but understandable phrase "laser paintball".

Speaking more fully, the laser tag is an imitation of combat operations using laser and infrared rays. Players use special shooting simulators (blasters) to defeat the players of the opposing team and the conditional capture ("destruction") of their "base".

"Combat" actions are conducted in a specially constructed labyrinth with sound and light special effects (arena laser tag), or on a specially prepared open area (off-line laser tag). Target hits are detected by infrared sensors that are placed on the vest or clothing of the player. The laser beam performs an auxiliary function, facilitating the aiming. Naturally, it is absolutely harmless to humans.

If we turn to the origins, the history of the laser tag began in the 1970s. In those years of the American army, a system was needed to develop firing contact. The developers faced the task of achieving greater realism than with the use of blank cartridges, and they managed to solve it. It was then that the MIELS or ESS - Engagement Simulation System was created. Emitters were attached to the trunks of military weapons, and the sensors were placed on the uniform of soldiers. This system was actively used in the army until the early 1990s, until replaced with a more perfect one. Today, Western companies are engaged in the production of such systems (SAAB (Sweden), Cubik (USA) and RUAG (Switzerland)), and producers in the former Soviet Union countries - Russia and Belarus. To emphasize the demand for this technology, we note that the laser simulation system of combat is widely used in training soldiers of countries that are members of NATO.

In the meantime, in 1977 the laser tag went beyond the limits of army training. It was then that George Carter III, inspired by watching the movie "Star Wars", came up with the idea of ​​creating a new game called "Photon." It was this game that formed the basis of all currently used commercial laser tag systems, specifying the stylistics and the general concept of an arena laser tag.

1979 was the year when South Bend Toys released the game Star Trek Phasers: a set of two blasters equipped with sensors. These blasters were intended for playing in open areas. The main feature of this system was the presence of a system of indication of close fire and ricochets (a similar system was used in the development of MILES). And for a wide range of consumers laser tag was only available in 1986, having won since then a whole army of fans among fans of active and interesting recreation. The laser tag arenas today operate around the world, but laser fighting is particularly popular where they originated - in the US. By the way, the area of ​​some American arenas reaches 2, and even 3 thousand square meters.