Thursday evening. I'm at Laser Battle Zone within a troupe of boys. We're surprised to come across 15 or so gun-wielding girls taking a break between games. It's ladies' night at the revamped venue. No surprise there, good business = lotsa chicks.
Save for the theme nights, ladies' students' and members', the regulars are kids. This explains the lack of bar we had hoped for.
After the boys are done laughing at my inappropriate footwear we slip into the score-keeping, gun-holding vests, which light up either blue or red so we know who is who in the dark. I'm slipping around in girly boots while the boys are so serious they're a step away from painting black streaks across their cheeks.
The sounds of Avicii filled the room as we were given the how-to by the well-briefed staff and sent into the pitch-black room. Our only source of light, apart from our glowing vests, came from the UV graffiti adorning the walls.
We spread out and found our hiding places. You can shoot fronts, backs and shoulders but front shots earn you the most points. The boys had thought this through, some going as far as holding the opposing team members' guns while shooting them point blank. I spent most of the time in hiding.
Flashback to the last time I played laser tag - I lost. Terribly. And I blamed it on my gun, which had been on the verge of electronic meltdown. This time, as we were informed by the man behind the counter, all the equipment had recently been replaced. For Thursday night's loss, I have only my boots to blame.
When our 15 minutes were up, we headed for light and checked our scores on the screen. They were in the thousands, save for mine. No matter, just hear this: If it's been a shitty work day and Counterstrike just isn't cutting it, Laser Battle is your go-to.
Photos by Darren Epstein
Shop G45 Brightwater Commons Shopping Centre, Republic Road, Randburg
011 789 3036
by Nicole Samakosky