Photon was the first laser tag arena.

Are you curious about the origins of laser tag and the first arena that made this thrilling game a reality? If so, you've come to the right place! As experts on laser tag, we're proud to share our knowledge with you, and we'll delve deep into the story of the first laser tag arena.

Photon was created in 1984 by George "The Creator" Carter III. Opened in Dallas, Texas, it was the first laser tag arena. It quickly became a sensation, drawing crowds of players eager to experience the thrill of laser tag combat in a fun and safe environment.

But the story of Photon doesn't end there. In fact, it's just the beginning of a fascinating tale that spans decades and continues to capture the hearts and minds of players worldwide. So, if you're interested in learning more about the game that started it all and its impact on the world of laser tag, keep reading!

The Development and Inspiration for Photon

After watching the movie Star Wars, George Carter III, the creator of Photon, was inspired to create a game that combined laser technology and science fiction. He wanted to create an interactive game that allowed players to experience the thrill of space battles and futuristic adventures.

To invent the game, Carter worked on the concept for years before developing the first prototypes. He conducted extensive research and experiments to determine how to create a laser-based game that would be safe and enjoyable for players. He also worked with engineers and designers to develop the equipment and props needed for the game.

The first version of Photon was played in Carter's backyard in Dallas, Texas. He later opened the first Photon arena in Dallas, quickly becoming a hit with players of all ages. Carter went on to open additional Photon arenas, making it one of the most popular games of its time.

The Rise of Photon and the Birth of a New Industry

In the years that followed the opening of the first Photon arena, the game grew in popularity and spread to cities across the United States and beyond. Carter formed a company, Photon Productions, to manage the game and develop new arenas.

He worked tirelessly to perfect the technology and gameplay mechanics. The game's success inspired imitators and competitors, and a new industry was born. Laser tag arenas sprang up in malls and amusement parks, and the game became a staple of birthday parties and team-building events.

Photon was more than just a game, however. It was a cultural phenomenon that captured the imaginations of a generation of players. The futuristic theme and high-tech equipment resonated with science fiction fans, and the game's emphasis on strategy and teamwork made it appealing to players of all ages and backgrounds.

As the industry grew, Photon continued to innovate, introducing new game modes, equipment, and storytelling elements that kept players engaged and excited.

When Did Photon Close?

Photon had 49 locations during its peak popularity in the 1980s. However, the number of locations gradually decreased as the popularity of laser tag declined, and the company eventually closed its doors in 1989.

Photon shut down operations because of financial difficulties and inadequate funds. As a result, they were compelled to liquidate their assets. One of the main reasons for its decline was the rise of home gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Sega Genesis, which provided a similar gaming experience without the need to leave the house. This made it difficult for Photon to attract enough customers to remain profitable.

Additionally, Photon faced increased competition from other laser tag companies.

Furthermore, the cost of maintaining the laser tag equipment and arena was high, and Photon struggled to keep up with the business's financial demands. A decrease in revenue compounded this as the game's popularity began to wane.

Ultimately, the combination of these factors led to Photon's closure. Although the company is no longer around, its legacy lives on as the first laser tag arena and an important contributor to the development of laser tag as a popular entertainment activity.

The Legacy of Photon and Its Impact on the Laser Tag Industry

Although the heyday of Photon may have passed, its legacy lives on in the laser tag industry. The game revolutionized how people thought about laser tag, elevating it from a novelty item to a legitimate competitive sport. It also paved the way for new innovations in technology and game design, inspiring a new generation of game developers to create even more exciting and immersive experiences.

Today, laser tag continues to be a popular activity, and the influence of Photon can be seen in the many arenas and games that have followed in its footsteps. Despite the competition, however, Photon remains a beloved game that holds a special place in the hearts of many players. Its legacy is a testament to the vision and dedication of George Carter III and the team at Photon Productions, who created a game that entertained, inspired, and captivated millions of players worldwide.


Photon was the first laser tag arena, and it revolutionized the entertainment world, inspiring a generation of players and paving the way for a new era of interactive gaming experiences. Though Photon is no longer around, its legacy lives on in the countless laser tag arenas that followed in its footsteps.

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