Enjoying ‘laser’ focus at Amusement Expo

GUEST OPINION: Erik Guthrie, Curator, Laser Tag Museum

This year marks the 35th anniversary of commercial laser tag. It’s also the fifth year of the Laser Tag Convention’s colocation with Amusement Expo International (AEI), which is returning to Las Vegas March 26-28.


While serving as curator of the Laser Tag Museum, located in rent-free space generously provided by Lazer Blaze inside its facility in Louisville, Ky., I also coordinate the Laser Tag Convention. The convention provides marketing and educational opportunities and serves as a fundraiser for the museum. There are not many museums devoted to specific attractions, so we are fortunate to have a centralized location in which to preserve and share laser tag history, and we are grateful to our partners at AEI for helping us to promote the museum and its mission.

In addition, we value the direct support of laser tag manufacturers that contribute equipment prototypes and decommissioned pieces to the museum’s extensive collection. These artifacts show the evolution of the game and are joined by more unique pieces, including laser tag packs that have appeared in films and television shows and have been autographed by actors Michael J. Fox, Kevin Sorbo and others.

Virtually every major laser tag manufacturer will be participating in this year’s Laser Tag Convention, which coincides with International Laser Tag Day on March 28. And once again, the event will offer seminars for laser tag operators and entrepreneurs in two separate tracks. (The schedule is available at lasertagconvention.com.)

Although laser tag’s growth has leveled off in recent years, it remains stable — with more than 1,220 gaming facilities currently operating in North America alone. Despite challenges from new technology such as virtual reality, laser tag continues to be a practical and, most importantly, cost-effective form of interactive entertainment. FEC operators love it because it is unbeatable in throughput, operational simplicity, theming flexibility and return on investment.

To learn more about the Laser Tag Museum and its supporters, please visit us at lasertagmuseum.com. We’re looking forward to showing everyone what’s new in this gaming arena during our gathering at AEI.

This column appears in the MARCH 2019 issue of Amusement Today.
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