‘Tazer Tag’ Is Laser Tag, but with Painful Electrocutions

What makes just about anything fun and interesting, from movies to books to games, is the establishment of real stakes—we tend to be most involved when actions have serious consequences. Which is why it’s so wonderful to see that YouTuber, engineer, and self-described “chaotic braindead” person, Michael Reeves, decided to evolve laser tag into “tazer tag” for his latest video. Reeves’ new spin on the game involves real pain, and for some reason that makes it seem ten times more enjoyable than the original one.


With a collection of inventions that do everything from track and laser eyeballs to shoot out energy drink to encourage dancing via electrocution, Reeves is no stranger to inflicting pain on himself. But with tazer tag, the ingenious masochist has really stepped up his game (literally), and inflicted a lot of taser-induced pain not only on himself but a bunch of people around him too. As Reeves notes in the video, it’s kind of sick that we (the royal we, at least) enjoy watching people receive mild shocks that cause them to spasm briefly, but it’s a Pika-truism nonetheless.

In terms of the actual build, Reeves took an off-the-shelf laser tag game bundle—it looks like it was probably this one—and rebuilt the chest pieces to electrocute rather than vibrate when activated by an incoming laser. He did so using an Arduino microcontroller (a circuit board with a chip on it that can be programmed to do many different things) that activates a shocking device any time it’s shot. The result is a chest piece that briefly disables its wearer with a prickly stab of electro-juice and lights up like Iron Man’s Arc Reactor any time it’s hit with a laser. And for those questioning just how potent the shocks are, check out 1:40 and 3:30 in the above video for expletive-filled testimonials.

Towards the last third of the video, we see Reeves and friends actually play numerous rounds of full-blown tazer tag, and if that doesn’t look like fun on the bun, then we don’t know what does. Even getting shocked looks like it’s pretty entertaining—oddly enough, everybody seems to giggle most right after they’ve received a nice jolt of electricity. Although we do have a suggestion for Reeves: Why not try adding in the use of shields made out of this “invisibility cloak” material? The material redistributes light, so the shields should be able to block the guns’ lasers, and they’ll add a whole new element of excitement to the game. Mainly because they’d make it harder for people to see where they’re going.

What do you think of this “tazer tag” version of laser tag? Do you wish you had this game when you were growing up, or are you thrilled enough with gentle, little vibrations against your sternum? And what kind of mild-pain-inducing contraption do you hope Reeves builds next? Electrify the comments section with your thoughts!

Images: Michael Reeves

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