The light gun is a critical part of the history of laser tag, partly for the improvements to the technology that allows for more advanced arenas, guns and game modes, but also for providing the impetus for manufacturers to make even better devices.
These include larger light guns, more accurate light guns such as the rifle used for Silent Scope and accessories that allowed the entertainment centre experience to be brought into the home.
However, whilst many of these are simplified but relatively straightforward variations of equipment you see in the arcade, some are much stranger than this.
After Nintendo popularised light gun games both in the arcade and at home with the Zapper, their follow-up took a lot of people by surprise.
Shaped closer to a bazooka with a fire button on the top of the device rather than having a trigger, the Super Scope instead used a receiver box and a different scanning process compared to the traditional flash bulb light gun method.
However, in part due to the expensive production process and the fact that other light guns such as the Justifier already existed for the SNES, the Super Scope was not successful and only 14 games were ever made for it.
In the seventh console generation, hunting retailer Cabela’s started to produce light gun shooting games that used their own dedicated cross-platform controller known as the Top Shot Elite.
Using motion control, a high-sensitivity camera and a red lens filter, the Top Shot Elite was a surprisingly capable controller designed for both light gun shooting gallery sections and as part of a more versatile first-person shooter.
The light guns were mildly successful but limited in compatibility. They only worked with some of the games in the Cabela’s series, which meant that for Wii and PS3 players, the more economical option was either to use the Wii Zapper or the PlayStation Move controller.