By Andrew Steel
A heavy silence had fallen amongst our ranks. We crouched behind the bunker, awaiting the signal. The sweat on my palms forced me to clutch my pistol more tightly – my sole comfort in what would soon become our hell. The bunker shielded us for the time being; the lights from our weapons glinted off of its glossy surface.
Suddenly, without any warning, a loud blast echoed through the room: the signal. We vaulted past our bunker and sprinted onto the battlefield towards our impending doom. Our footfalls were drowned out by the concerto of war as 80s techno music flooded the arena. The cries of confusion and discord mingled with tinny laser noises as my comrades depressed their triggers, aiming at our until-then-unseen foes.
I reached my destination, sliding into an inflatable barrier laid out on the dusty wooden floor. My shoulder slammed into it, causing it to rock violently on its sandbag fasteners. I peeked my head over the barrier to take a quick account of the situation; the barrel of a pistol about twenty feet away met my gaze. I quickly ducked back behind my cover to dodge the enemy fire, but it was too late; my gun was shaking in my hand as the cold red light of my head indicator covered my arms and the nearby ground. One life down, nine to go.
On Thursday, January 27, between the hours of 9:00 PM and 12:30 AM, approximately 150 warriors like myself poured into Cro to engage in heated 4v4 laser tag skirmishes.
“I was worried all day that it was going to get cancelled,” said Kim Marker ’13, who, along with Jeannette Williams, the Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Leadership here at Conn, organized the entire event. Marker is the president and treasurer for the organization SAPA (Student Activities Programming Assistant Staff), which, as its name indicates, helps organize many of the entertainment events for students.
She had been putting everything together with Party Vision, the company that supplied the laser tag equipment. Due to inclement weather, Party Vision, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, nearly didn’t make it to Conn in time for the event. Luckily, disaster was averted, and they pulled into campus with time to spare. Due to a lot of advertising and planning beforehand, as well as the event’s wide-reaching appeal, Marker claims that this was SAPA’s “most successful event… this year.”
While the event was generally well-received, it was not without its hitches. Due to the small number of players allowed in each game, coupled with the length of each game (about ten minutes each), many were left waiting in line for nearly half an hour, if not longer. Furthermore, toward the end of the event, the equipment seemed to malfunction frequently, forcing players to pause mid-game to reset their weapons.
These problems aside, Marker believes the event still went very well and, when questioned as to whether or not there would be another laser tag night, she responded, “I really hope so; I would love to make it a yearly thing.”
She is fully aware of the problems that occurred this time around and is looking to make next year’s event more accommodating. Rest assured, though: even with the probable fixes, the event will remain free of charge. •