This week we went to "Sportstime USA" for our out of classroom activity. It isn't really connected to any physical activities like the name indicates, but is rather, a game center. This place is full of arcade games and machines where you can win little prizes if you play long enough. For example, you can play for tokens at racing and shooting games and "minigames" that you could trade in to win prizes. When we entered, we all got a card with a balance of 40 game credits, which sounded like a whole lot at first, but to play most of the games you had to use more than one game credit.
After receiving some quick instructions on how to have fun in the game center, everybody had to decide between spending his credits on just fun games or trying to win some nice prizes. In addition to all the games there, we could play laser tag, drive bumper cars and ride a small rollercoaster. At first I didn´t really play any of the arcade games because they are pretty similar to all the videogames you can play on your TV at home and instead went over to the laser tag area and the bumper cars. I thought laser tag would be pretty similar to paintball, with the only difference being the guns, but it is not. Laser tag is played on a small field full of obstacles and black light. Furthermore, you don´t leave the game when you get hit, you just keep fighting and the other team gets points. Therefore, hitting an opponent is not really a big deal. Sometimes you don´t even recognize if you shoot somebody or get hit. Beside that, it is still a very fun game because of the entire running around and sneaking up on opponents using obstacles.
The bumper cars were pretty fun too because there were a lot of people at the same time and we could just stay in the cars after every round because there was nobody else wanting to drive this attraction. After that, we just used the rest of our credits trying to win some prizes but those machines are not meant to give the players a lot of game tokens. You have to play very long and spend a lot of money to get enough tokens for a decent enough prize. In the end we all put our tokens together and got a prize which I don´t even remember anymore.
In conclusion it was a very nice afternoon full of little games.
By Finn Bauer, Fall 2012 ELI Student from Germany