Hi-tech laser games tag the young at Andheri
A white tent pitched in the dusty, sun-baked Chitrakoot grounds in Andheri (West), stands dwarfed by the adjoining malls and shopping complexes, reports Vivek Iyer.mumbai Updated: May 10, 2010 01:09 IST
A white tent pitched in the dusty, sun-baked Chitrakoot grounds in Andheri (West), stands dwarfed by the adjoining malls and shopping complexes.
Inside the tent you’ll find teens running around holding laser guns, trying to out-tag each other in a dark 3,500 sq-ft chamber with fluorescent and neon artwork of various cult characters such as Batman and his nemesis, the Joker.
They are playing Laser Tag, a game that combines physical agility with the thrill of a video game.
Within a week of its launch, the game is already a fad among teens. It has also found an audience in corporate houses that are using it as a tool to strengthen teamwork and lower stress levels among employees, said proprietor Devesh Mallani.
“It’s great because you get to play an exciting game and get some physical activity at the same time,” said Karan Srivastava (21), an MSc student from SIES College.
A player aims to tag others by firing laser beams at sensors fitted onto players’ jackets. Real time scores are visible on an LCD screen outside the playing arena.
It’s a hi-tech version of paintball, only without the heavy body armour and pellet shots and merges video games such as Star Wars and Counter Strike.
“It makes you feel like the protagonist of a computer game. You feel a rush of emotions — fear, excitement and suspense. It combines quick thinking and movement, making it all the more fun,” said Anant Rajan (21), a student of NM College.
The play area being air-conditioned, is another draw given the heat.
It’s open to children above 8 years, and a 10-minute game costs Rs 180.
The game was a huge success during the IIT Techfest in January, with around 2,500 participants playing during three days.
“When asked to rate the game on a scale of 1 to 10, 91 per cent students gave it an 8-plus rating,” said Mallani.