Back in the 80's, Photon
was a moderately popular diversion. Based off of (ripped off of) lazer tag
, Photon was a more team-oriented sport. Two teams, a red
and a green
team would descend into an arena, and attempt to play a game that could only be described as capture the flag
, without the flags.
Your objective was to shoot your enemies as many times as possible, which was a given in any lazer tag-esque game. For big points, you'd could also go and to shoot the enemy's power base thingie 3 times, located deep within their base. It was usually well protected, as well, so it wasn't as easy as just running in, pulling the trigger 3 times, and running back out.
The arena featured fog, strobe lights, many twists, turns, dead ends, sniper locations, and an 80's techno soundtrack. The music ranged from crappy to not half bad.
Shooting the enemy's base 3 times: 200 points
Shooting an enemy: 10 points
Shooting a teammate: Priceless, ahem, -30 points
Getting shot: -10 points
Every time you were shot, you had to go to a recharge station, to power your equipment back up. The equipment itself was large, and when I last played it (around age 8 or so), probably weighed at least a quarter of my total body weight. It consisted of a Helmet, Armor, a battery pack, and the gun itself. Each suit had LED lights according to the team's colors, so while the arena itself was fairly dark, you could still see your teammates and opponents well enough to shoot them.
Most Photon locations were equipped with a fairly large arcade, as well as a balcony where people, for the price of $.25, could shoot at the players. I don't recall if the players were deactivated if shot by the spectators, but I believe the spectators had a score readout near their gun. This made the game more interesting, as when I couldn't cough up the money to actually play the game, I could go shoot those who could. Of course, this paled in comparison to actually playing the game, as the fun of being shot at yourself, and trying for the opponents target was lost.
There was also a show on television based upon Photon, but I cannot recall of it's details, other than it had Photon gun wielding monsters of some type, and all the bad guys were on the green team. If I find anything further, I will update this node.
Despite my young age, I was placing within the top 4 or 5 each game. The team sizes were roughly 11-12 per team. I vaguely recall getting some compliments for doing so well while being so young.
Alas, my favorite Photon location, in Ocean City, Maryland, has seen some drastic changes. For 8 or 9 years after the photon franchise folded, it was home to a wax museum. This was really awkward, seeing wax dolls occupy the space where I used to shoot people. Seeing the remnants of the targets (they were an octagonal shape, if I recall correctly) was also difficult to adjust to. Finally, in the past four years, the Wax Museum closed, and a 90's clone of Lazer-Tag/Photon (Lazersport, I believe), opened up in the same building.