rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 12/05/2002
The Quest For Fun And Adventure
by Gary Hill
Situated in Mulford Village Mall, right next to Shogun Restaurant you will find a multi-million dollar, high tech entertainment center that you may never have known existed. Nestled behind a run of the mill store front, Laser Quest (293 Executive Parkway) is that complex. They offer, fun, games, friendly competition, and even an educational experience - and it's suitable for the whole family.

For those who are in the group that was completely uninformed about Laser Quest, it is an international chain of facilities that offer "laser tag". Laser tag is a combination of tag and hide and seek. Players have a pack strapped on that contains sensors on the chest, shoulders and back. They also carry a weapon that shoots a beam of light. It also has sensors. The object is to "tag" the sensors on your opponents' packs and guns while avoiding being tagged. Points are awarded for hitting opponents and deducted for being hit. If that sounds too simple, keep in mind that you are playing the game within a maze built with three towers, two levels, specialty lighting, ramps, catwalks, mirrors, and fog. That can make it a bit more of a challenge. Indeed, the only map ever created for the maze rests in the hands of the Rockford Fire Department, so don't expect any guide to finding your way around. Also, don't forget that there can be 30 or so other players in there with you. Sometimes the games can be team operations, but other games will be every player for him or herself.

In addition to the public games, which last 20 minutes, they also have group packages, birthday parties, lock-ins and more. They alos offer memberships which allow you to be ranked in their national standings. The chain that runs Laser Quest sponsors the tournament, dubbed "North American Challenge" that uses those rankings. Interestingly enough, out of over 50 centers throughout the country, 2 of the 3 top ranked players live right here in Rockford.

Even if you did know about Laser Quest, there is probably more to their offerings than you knew. For instance, manager Chris Bohr explained to this reporter that they are also an educational facility. He went on to explain that in addition to all their other services and programs, that they serve as a field trip destination for many local students. Apparently they have an educational program, called "Quest For Knowledge" that teaches all about the history, science and applications of real life lasers.

They also offer a program for businesses - Quest For Success. The theory behind that program is that playing together can cause a group to gain important skills to make it work together more productively. The program allows for a company or other group to use the game as an outing. The Laser Quest people believe that this excursion generates what they consider to be the "four pillars of effective teamwork" - communication, trust, cooperation and fun.

If you have an event that you would like to bring to Laser Quest, or if you just want more info, you can contact Chris "Tank" Bohr - Tank is his quest code name (all players have them in the game) - and his staff at 815-227-9090, or just stop by and try the game out for yourself first.
Contact Information
Laser Quest
293 Executive Parkway
Rockford, IL, 61107
Hours vary depending on the time of the year and other factors.
Call for prices.
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