Around 30 students crowded the stage at Gaiser Student Center Jan. 12, strapped with various light-sensing devices and wielding plastic weaponry. The lights dimmed, and the Skrillex remix of Benny Benassi’s “Cinema” played on the overhead speakers.
A man in the center of the stage pointed one of the guns at all participants, and speakers inside the weapons played a charging sound. “You have ten seconds to get to cover,” he said, referring to the six tent-like pillars erected in the empty auditorium. “Each round lasts eight minutes and you have five lives. Think of this like the Hunger Games: last one alive wins. At least, in this, you actually survive.”
A screen on the side of each laser gun blinked “ready,” and each participant leapt from the stage and into the fray.
This was Clark students’ second experience playing Laser Tag on campus. “At the end of Spring quarter we had a laser tag event, and I found that was very popular with the students,” said ASCC Social Events Coordinator Chloe Casey. “I thought it would be cool to have a laser tag event that’s inside, so you don’t get wet or anything, because the laser tag was outside at the Spring Thing.”
Casey said the event was a good team-building exercise and gave students something to do between classes.
The equipment and barriers were provided by Lazer Warz, a local company started in 2013 by Scott Rushford, according to lazerwarzor.com.
This was Rushford’s first time catering a laser tag event at Clark, but he said he would “absolutely” do so again.
Rushford said his goal is to bring laser tag back to Vancouver and plans to open up a facility in Hazel Dell in March. “[Since] Golden Skate closed down, and took laser tag with them, there’s been no laser tag in Vancouver.”
According to Rushford, Lazer Warz caters to “the entire Portland metro area.” He said he’s done everything from high school senior events to birthday and bachelor parties. But above all else, Rushford made it clear that for anything anyone wants to celebrate with laser tag, he would be there.