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Does Laser Tag Use Real Lasers?

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Playing laser tag has become a popular game amongst children and adults. People play laser tag at birthday parties, and it is also a fun event for office work parties. You can play in teams or have the game set up as every person for themselves. 

With the number of times laser tag is played, a question frequently asked is if real lasers are used while playing laser tag. Does laser tag use real lasers? 

Laser tag does not use real lasers because the danger a real laser beam poses is to the vision of the players. In reality, the laser used in laser tag functions most similarly to the beam of a flashlight. It is just in a thinner, more concentrated form. 

Knowing the ins and outs of a game before you go to play it can sometimes give you the upper hand. In the case of laser tag, if you understand how the laser gun works and why it is best not to have a real laser, you may end up with a leg up over the rest of the players. 

Of course, the game of laser tag is a fun one, so if you have never played before, you’ll be able to find a few tips and tricks here as well.  

The Laser of the Laser Tag Gun

The beam in a laser tag gun is an infra-red beam. It is normally many infra-red beams that come together to make the laser beam used in laser tag. With infra-red beams such as this, they are easy to manipulate and direct. 

They will respond quickly just as a flashlight would. The large differences between an infra-red beam and a flashlight are that the laser tag beam is thin, straight, and it can be picked up by infra-red sensors that are also on the infra-red spectrum. This means that you will not be able to see the lasers as they are being pointed at you. 

The inside of a laser gun contains many wires, circuits, and infra-red LED bulbs. When this device is put together, there are many functions that it has to have in order to become the full laser tag gun you will be playing with. 

The gun needs to be wired, so it will respond with the infra-red beam every time you go to pull the laser. The laser tag gun also needs to communicate and provide feedback to you and the entire system. This means that you will hear sounds when shooting and when you hit a target. This also means that each hit you make is being logged for a report that you will see at the end of the game. 

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The Dangers of a Real Laser

Using real lasers to play laser tag can be dangerous, and then that would defeat the purpose of the game of laser tag. Real lasers have the ability to cause serious damage to people’s eyes. 

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When a laser is focused on the beam for too long, or it is too bright, it will penetrate a part of the eye at the back called the retina. Once the eye is locked on the laser beam, the retina absorbs it and then begins to heat up. As the retina heats up, your eye will start to burn. 

So now imagine that your game of laser tag, which is supposed to be full of harmless fun, uses an actual laser. While running around playing the game, you are not necessarily paying attention to when you are shooting. You just want those points. 

The possibility of the eye being burned by a real laser becomes high because many different laser beams will be bouncing around. 

A second reason why real lasers are not used in laser tag because they can be dangerous is that they can become a fire hazard. Real lasers tend to come as a high frequency. This means that their beams are more powerful, and they are also brighter. If someone were to shine a laser at an inanimate object for an extended period of time, the likelihood of that object catching on fire is high. 

So with laser tag, there are pieces of equipment and structures all throughout so people can have more unique playing experience. If real lasers were used in the laser guns, these structures have the potential of being set on fire with the constant laser shooting. 

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Why Infra-Red Beams are Used

Now for the fun reason as to why infra-red beams are used when playing laser tag instead of real lasers. Everyone who plays laser tag puts on a vest and sometimes even a helmet. On these two pieces of equipment, there are infra-red receivers. When you shoot the laser gun, you are attempting to hit the receivers or the targets. 

With each target you hit, points will be tallied and calculated. At the end of the game, you will leave with a print out of all your statistics. The infra-red laser beam and the infra-red receivers work together to generate numbers such as your hit percentage and how many points you got when you hit certain targets, either on a person or on the surrounding areas. 

The Safety and Fun in Laser Tag

The game of laser tag is meant to be a fun activity for children and adults of all ages. As previously stated, the lasers that are used in laser tag are not real. This eliminates the potential of the players getting hurt while playing. This brings us to the topic of safety and how to have a fun game. The first step in making a laser tag game safe is by using the infra-red beams, but there is more that can go into the game in order to make it enjoyable for everyone. 

The Explanations at the Begining of the Game

Before even stepping into the playing field, a worker at the laser tag facility will go over safety and ground rules. Some of these rules include no running, no climbing on the structures unless there are clearly marked stairs, and everyone should stop and help a player if they have fallen. 

You will also be shown how to use the laser gun and where the sensors are in order to shoot them.

Target Practice

Some laser tag facilities will allow you a couple of minutes of practice time before the game begins. This will allow you to get used to the laser gun and how to aim it. When playing laser tag, you cannot see the laser beam, so aiming can be difficult. 

This is where the practice round comes in handy because you will have a better understanding of how to aim. 

Team Play and Tactics

One of the most fun ways to play laser tag is by being on a team. Most of the time, children are just going to run around and try to shoot anyone and everyone, which is great. But when adults come to play, the team mode is the best way to go. When broken off into teams, it can be best to decide on a team leader. 

This person will help facilitate the tactics that the team chooses to use. Next, your team should come up with a game plan on how to go about winning. 

Some game modes include gathering the most points or elimination. Each game will require a different strategy, so this is your chance to work together to come out on top.

Laser Tag FAQ

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