Monday, June 6, 2011

OLCA Turns 5!

On June 6th of 2006, I started up a Forum for planning purposes for laser tag games with some friends.  Though our first game planned through the OLCA was kind of a flop (you can read the review of it here), we've since learned, grown, and turned into one of the more active tagging groups in the US. 

Before the Omaha Laser Challenge Association's formal formation, we had been playing games with friends at the park, but struggled to attract the numbers we wanted to see.  A friend had donated 10 sets of Laser Challenge gear to our group and we already had quite a few sets among ourselves.  Wanting to utilize all that gear, we made the forum as a means of planning the games.  While Facebook has since replaced the forum's usefulness in planning the events, we've still managed to see numbers grow each year since it's creation.

The OLCA has also had some traditions that continue from season to season, first and foremost being the "Fight Night".  These are weekly games held at our home park: Mission Park West.  They are designed this way so that folks can plan their summers accordingly to attend games if they so wish.  Having it on the same day of the week, same time, and same location each week makes this easy.  We also primarily play during the evening hours to reduce interference from the sun landing hits on our older LC gear. 

We also started the "Independence Eve Blast!" cookout, which has become a popular event over the years.  The park has a small gazebo and two grills that are ideal for running potluck cookouts before games.  Every year before the 4th of July (Independance Day, US) we hold a cookout and then have our usual games.  What's rally unique about these games is the setting itself.  Here in Omaha, local residents purchase their own fireworks and light them off in the evening/night hours a few days (and obviously ON) the 4th of July.  The explosions and lights overhead, the smell of sulfur, and the sounds of rockets screaming gives a really unique "battlefield" effect and makes the games really fun.  We've been holding events like this since our first year with great success.

Another unique aspect of the OLCA has been the increasing number of modified equipment.  From simple repaints to complete recasings, the blasters seen at OLCA games are unique and are a sign of the hobby-side of laser tag in full bloom.  It's been a side of laser tag enjoyed by many of our veterans and die-hard players that always seems to turn heads.  We've come a long way from Duct Tape over a speaker!

Today, we'll celebrate with a cookout and games this evening on our normally-scheduled "Fight Night".  With a temperature of 95 expected today and high humidity, I don't expect a huge turnout to the game, but I'm fine with that.  Over the years, regardless of how many players we manage to attract (our record is sitting at 38 players) I will always prefer small groups.  We will, as always, cater to whomever shows up, be it 6 people or the whole city.  Either way, it's laser tag, it's what we live for, and there's no signs of stopping!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on 5 years of intense Tag activity! The OLCA is an inspiration to all of us.
    - Duncan