Photon: The Ultimate Game On Earth

September 26, 11

I recently got this press image at auction from 1986 for the then brand new Photon game centers. Unfortunately, they closed down only a few years later in 1989, and I would have been first in line to purchase the “alien tower” and wall lighting pictured here.

One of the articles that ran with the photo is attached here:

A Photon Warrior hides from his opponent behind the Alien Tower in Chicagoland’s first Photon facility.  The game is a totally new approach to participatory amusements and encourages a high degree of skill and agility in a fast, fantasy-based, life sized contest of wiles and wits.  Photon opened in early June in Palatine, IL.

Imagine being locked in a sci-fi battle straight out of Star Trek or Star Wars: Your princess has been captured, so you don your space helmet, strap on a portable infrared phaser pack and board the enemy spaceship to battle the forces of evil.

“No, Scotty, don’t beam me up yet.  The Klingons are attacking from one side, the Destructicons from the other and Darth Vader has me in his tractor beam.  I’ve got them right where I want them.”

Is this a fantasy, an arcade gamester’s hallucination?  No, this is what they’re doing for kicks in Palatine (and 10 other U.S. locations), and it goes by the name of Photon, the Ultimate Game on Earth.

The $1.5 million Photon Game Center at 647 Consumers Ave. in the northwest suburb is part of a Dallas based national franchiser who has raised the concept of interactive video games to the level of participatory sport.

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