Written by Julia Antique
Photos by Kat Mayuga
Graphics by Gian Ferrer
When I think of laser tag, I think of Barney Stinson from the TV show How I Met Your Mother. Known for being obsessed with Laser Tag and being a highly skilled player himself, Barney’s hilarious stints in-game could be seen in various HIMYM episodes. And being an avid fan of the series, this sparked my curiosity about the sport because I’ve never experienced playing laser tag in my life. But lo and behold, the Batch 3 WIMterns were invited by the awesome folks at LazerXtreme Manila for a little dose of friendly fire in their Market! Market! branch and so I finally got to go!
Arriving at the location, I was in awe of the detail they put into designing the place. It felt like I was in a whole new world. A different galaxy, even. And we haven’t even entered the arena yet. Going in, we were greeted by their very friendly staff who guided us to their huge 300-square meter split-level gaming arena. The futuristic, space-themed set up made me feel like I was a Jedi from Star Wars trying to overthrow a Sith Lord.
Finally, it was time to play! And, as expected, my inexperienced self wasn’t ready for the prowess of my fellow WIMterns. So I became ala-Peeta Mellark from Hunger Games and used the intricate game area to camouflage and protect whatever dignity I had left.
While I was hiding from the rain of terror the other WIMterns were unleashing in the battlegrounds, I had a chance to reflect. Not just on the sport but on life as well, and how the two are more connected than you think. How, you ask? Here are the 5 Life lessons I learned from playing laser tag:
5. There will always be someone to guide you.
Before entering the game area, we were briefed by the accommodating LazerXtreme staff on how to wear the vest and how to hold the laser gun properly so that our shots would be able to merit points. They also explained the various rules and regulations of the game so that we could play safely, and told us to call them anytime in case we have any inquiries in-game.
Just like in life, there will always be people around you to guide you. They may take the form of your parents, a teacher, your friends, or even strangers. Whenever you are faced with unfamiliar circumstances or difficult tasks, know that there are people who have experienced similar situations who are willing to help and give you advice. All you have to do is ask.
4. It’s okay to feel lost as long as you keep on moving.
Because the game area was so huge and there were only six of us playing in the dark, I got lost. Luckily, this only occurred for a good minute as I quickly familiarized myself with the area. I ran, leaped, and climbed up the new terrain to avoid being shot by the opposing team.
Whether it’s realizing that you want to shift courses after spending years on a degree you thought you wanted, losing a loved one, or ending a long-term relationship that you just don’t see a future in, everyone has felt lost at some point in their life. And guess what: it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. Life’s unpredictability is what makes it beautiful, and your resilience in the face of hardships makes life worthwhile. Just keep swimming.
3. Take calculated risks (matuto dumiskarte).
Winning laser tag requires having a strategy. I, for one, did not have a plan of action. I would run blindly into the middle of the game area and attack as many people as I could, not knowing that they were all trying to shoot me down cause I was an easy target since they were all positioned in strategic spots where they could take cover. I ended up losing multiple times in the game, only to be revived and then be shot at again. I learned from my mistakes and devised a strategy in the latter part of the round.
Unfortunately, life is not as forgiving as laser lag. Some opportunities only come knocking once.
So what do you do? Like that quote from Richard Branson: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later!” It’s good to take risks but make sure they’re worth it. After all, what’s the point of saying yes to every opportunity if you know you won’t be able to deliver?
2. First place or last place, the best place is right where you are.
Because I took risks that didn’t pay off, I ended up landing the glamorous spot of 6th place. Although we played competitively, my co-WIMterns didn’t make me feel bad for finishing last place, and it felt as if we were all winners because of the experience of a great game.
People these days are so scared of failing and focus way too much on trying to become successful that they don’t give themselves permission to fail. This is counter-productive because failure is inevitable. At some point in your life, you’re going to fall flat on your face. You can choose to continue being your own worst critic or you can choose to see the bright side in hitting rock-bottom (you have nothing to lose!). Remember: Life is a journey, not a race.
1. Have fun!
Last but not the least, have fun! Each game of laser tag only lasts for 15 minutes and no one ever knows when the game will end because everyone’s too busy maximizing the time given to them to pay attention to the clock—which is what makes laser tag a lot like life. You’re all in the same arena, you’re all given the tools you need, you’re all surrounded by your allies and enemies, and all of you are given the same amount of play time.
What differentiates each player is what he/she does within those 15 minutes. Your choices shape the outcome of the game. And whether you win or lose, the ultimate determiner if you got your money’s worth, is how much fun you had. Life is short. Make the most out of it while you can.
We Got XTREME FUN AND EXPERIENCE Waiting For You! Game On! See you at LazerXtreme "The Premiere Laser Tag Entertainment in the Country!" (02)856-6467; (02)856-6469 & 0917-6091619; 0975-5740710 4th Level, Market Market Mall, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City firstname.lastname@example.org www.lazerxtreme.com.ph #LazerXtremeManila #marketmarket #lazer #xtreme #gameon
Ready to play laser tag? Check out LazerXtreme located on the 4th floor of Market! Market!, 26th St. cor. C5, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig to have your own out of this world laser tag experience!
LazerXtreme Market! Market!
(02) 856 6467|
(+63 917) 609-1619