An artist and freelance writer, I enjoy exploring the city with my children and the never ending quest for great coffee.
Published July 16th 2012
I'm sitting in a beautiful bushland setting. The birds are singing in the trees and the smell of eucalyptus permeates the air.
Suddenly, the peace is shattered by the sound of machine gun fire. Voices are calling from the bush and I can see camouflage clad figures dashing from tree to tree, clunky black guns swinging by their sides. The sound of gun fire is echoing from every direction now and more and more soldiers appear.
The terrain is rough, with hills, dirt covered tracks and thick scrub covering much of the area. The tracks criss cross through the bush and run down to the bridge across a small creek. It sounds a bit scary, but don't worry, war hasn't come to the outskirts of Brisbane. It's all in good fun.
I am actually sitting next to a scout camp at Mt Crosby watching my children and several other birthday parties playing an amazing game of outdoor laser skirmish. Children and adults are running everywhere, sweat pouring off them as they compete to protect their bases from the invading team.
During the break there is much excited chatter about who got who and how many hits they scored before being deactivated. "This is the most awesome day ever, ever, ever" I heard one of the boys say as they all raided the Esky for drinks.
Laser Skirmish run sessions for birthday parties, corporate team building, and the general public. According to the brochure, the game is suitable for children as young as 6 and good active fun for adults as well. Personally, I don't think a six year old would last very long with the rough terrain and heavy guns and I think I would be saving my money until they were closer to 8. Our group were aged 10 to 13 and they found it all very exciting, they were able to understand the numerous rules and gun use instructions and really enjoyed the challenge of the game.
There are a variety of different guns to choose from with different size,weights, ammo and firing range. These guns shoot infrared rays, so there is no pain, and make realistic sound effects. A little screen on the gun tells all of your stats such as how many hits you have and how many lives you have left. The good news is that even after you are deactivated, you can return to base, press a button to reactivate your gun and head back out for more fun.
Laser Skirmish runs sessions at Mt Crosby, Mt Cotton, Petrie and Mt Tambourine. The sessions go for two hours and cost $28 per person if you book and pre pay, it is considerably more if you pay on the day, so pre paying is recommended. There are also various party and corporate packages available. During the session the players play a few different games with short breaks in between. There are drinks, chips and lollies available for purchase from the venue, but most people had brought their own food and drinks.
You need to wear long pants and closed in shoes to play this game and you can hire camouflage gear if you really want to look the part.
When my children were young, I was very much a 'no guns in our house' parent, but now that my boys are older, I can see that they need different things in their play. They need safe ways to challenge themselves and test their limits and they need fun outdoor activities that will entice them away from their computer screens. Laser Skirmish ticks all these boxes for me and certainly kept the kids happy as well.