Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Laser Quest = Murder?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Laser Quest = Murder?

This was brought to my attention recently, I thought I needed to comment

"Our society has such an obsession with guns and war that even Christians are falling into the deception of allowing their children to play games of war too. In many of the U.S.A. cities, the latest games for kids are called "Laser Quest" and "Laser Tag." The kids are divided into teams that go through dark mazes of rooms trying to destroy each other by shooting one another down with their laser weapons. The most shocking news to me was that many of their customers at these game rooms are Christian youth groups that are going out for a night of fun. Killing one another--even in pretense--should never be a Christian endeavor."
quoted from www.bible.com or something like that.

This one is very simply folks. It's not called Laser Death and Destruction, it's called Laser Tag. You don't "destroy each other by shooting one another down." That is hilarious. You tag each other, not with hands like in the old days, but with a red laser that make a cheesy zapping sound.

I worked at Laser Quest for 5 months (man were those dark times) and if you said "kill" instead of "tag", you were dragged outside and given a beat down by the manager.

There are basically two types of LQ players:
1. The birthday party player. This person only plays when there is an event, or a group of people just going out to have fun. They could care less about their score, winning, or having a strategy. Just being in the maze with the music and blacklights is worth their $7.

2. Fanatics, who spend most of their time and money trying to climb to the top of the member board. Those of us who have experienced the "fanatic" level know that a fun game can quickly turn into an in-depth study of the scoring, sounds, maze levels, and every other aspect of the game. When I was in my "prime", I could literally tell how far another player was from me by the sound of their laser. It was stupid. Rexwilder spent a years salary in 3 months trying to master the game (and he came pretty close!). At the fanatic level, ego is the main word. Everyone wants to be the best, and the word spreads quickly when you reach the top tier of the LQ world. When you walk through the doors, you can feel all eyes turn to you as if to say, "oh great, he's here."

By the way, I'm not kidding here. That all sounds over the top, but it's the absolute truth. I went back to LQ the night before my wedding, a group of us went. (the birthday party level). By the time I came out of the game, I could feel myself already slipping into fanatic level again. It was weird, and if those few people who I used to play with were still around, I could quickly get back into it. I guess it's a good thing their not.


Anonymous rexwilder said...

Those were the days. Tough on the pocketbook but fun times. I would put the Beast and myself up against any two players at our peak (and probably still now), with Andy (our brother-in-law) a close third.

Casper....Sgt.Fury....Frozenshade. Maddog....where have you gone...a (LQ) nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

November 17, 2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

*sniff* looks like I missed out on the fun. Ah well, there's still MIB...

November 17, 2005 1:53 PM  
Anonymous agog said...

interesting. I have played laser tag once and did not find much interest.

VIOLENCE. There is a lot of it out there for kids these days. I don't know.

November 17, 2005 3:03 PM  
Anonymous rexwilder said...

Let's talk about violence a minute. Where is the appropriate line to say something hurts our kids (or us) and shouldn't be allowed? I grew up loving violent movies, had a BB Gun as a child (and loved shooting it), and enjoyed violent video games and things like LQ. People that know me also know I have never had any violent bone in my body. The Beast is a huge horror fan, enjoys various "violent" things (i.e. LQ, movies, etc.) but would no more hurt anyone than Christ himself. On the other hand, there are the children who do the exact same things I (or the Beast) did and shoot up their school or take some other violent act. So what do you do?

I made a post at Inn of the Last Home (which I don't know how to link to) where I challenged Barry as to the impact of "end of the world" movies. He commented it was irresponsible of the movie to show NY or whatever being destroyed (he also clarified his feelings later, but for my point, that is all that matters). My reponse was to the effect of, we all have trigger points (specifically I referenced someone who lost someone they care about in a car wreck and therefore had no interest in seeing any movies that had someone dying in a car wreck...the emotional impact on that person is huge, but does that mean studios shouldn't make movies about people dying in car wrecks?), and the tough thing is knowing when a trigger point rises to the level of being a societal problem that must be remedied at a macro level.

I guess my final point is, sure we are bombarded with images every day in TV, movies, video games...just society, and those images all have some consequence (however small or large). But at what point do we say "that is not acceptable to be in society" as opposed to taking a more personal responsibility about the issues. I'm not saying I know the answer to that, but I believe it is generally a tougher question than many people want it to be.

November 17, 2005 5:31 PM  
Blogger Barry said...


November 18, 2005 2:20 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...

My favorite childhood game was war. We would divide up in teams, each with a fake M-16 that looked real and attempt to ambush one another. We had a blast.

However, I am not suggesting that there should never be a line drawn. Although I 100% agree with Rexwilder that personal responsibility and proper upbringing, preferably in a church faith-based environment, is the utimate act of rearing acceptable attitudes and actions of our children, there of course comes a time when too much is too much. How do we know where the exact line is drawn? I don't know. But, it does sometimes seem clear that we have stepped over the line.

There is a video game called Grand Theft Auto. Thankfully, there are "ratings" for this game (that is where some personal responsiblilty comes in.) But in this game, you actually GAIN POINTS for shooting a prostitute in cold blood in the street, watching her blood pour from her and watching her die. At least in games of old, when you shoot innocent people, you lose points. (And I better not hear that a prostitute "had it coming." She is defenseless, not armed, etc).

For me, that is crossing the line. For someone else, it is just a game, who cares? In summary, I think those of us who are Christians are too quick to blame everything else, laser quest, movies, etc on why our children/society are so violent. The last thing we want to do is ask ourselves the daunting question: How much effort did I really make in instilling proper values and spending quality time with my children?

I still believe in the family.

November 18, 2005 2:46 PM  
Anonymous dezi said...

How about me? I could take you all on and beat you some! LQ cant be all bad its where I met my husband!

November 18, 2005 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Diver said...

Laser tag is certainly not a game of war. And those few that tried to make it into one were ridiculed and/or set straight. It is, as The Beast said, a high tech game of tag. Nobody gets hurt, well not intentionally but anybody can run into a wall in the dark, and the only resemblance to any kind of violence is the shape of the laser. It does look remarkably like a laser from Buck Rogers for the LQ ones. The Q-Zar ones look like they are out of Star Wars. But do not think for a second that they are a gun!. They are not, they are a laser and all they do is tag a sensor.

The thing that gets me about violence in video games is the fact that parents pay no attention at all to what games they are playing. ok, that may be too broad, some parents do pay attention but way too many do not. These games are not meant for kids. The game companies make a broad range of games to appeal to all ages. Many of them are defined by the age bracket of their target audience. These are the more mature games like Grand Theft Auto. But parents that would never consider letting their child see an R movie don't think anything of buying their kids GTA. They think Video Game and they immediately picture Pac-Man. Then if their kid goes nuts they blame the game. How bout they pay attention to what their kids are doing and accept their responsibilites as a parent?

It is the same for lots of things though. Parents blame the schools because their kids are talking back. They blame movies because their kid got in a fight. They blame a video game because their kid freaked out. They blame the TV because their kid had sex. But they never accept that maybe they should have been parenting their kids. They never accept that the problem is using these things to take the place of being a responsible parent. And that is sad. I look at my daughter and want to be the biggest part of her life. I do not want her raised by the TV.

The whole thing makes me think of the kid in the 80's that got a sword and went into the sewers to kill rats. The parents, and society, blamed Dungeons & Dragons. But if the parents had paid attention to their son they may have realized his hold on reality was not that strong and kept him from the game that influenced him. But that is not how it went.

Back to LQ though. I met Dezi there. And Rexwilder. And The Beast. They are my family, them and mine and Dezi's daughter Bella. How can that be bad?

November 18, 2005 11:35 PM  

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