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Electronically enhanced war game expands to Canada in New Year

Deb Ellis — December 1984

TORONTO — If “The Form of Photon” makes you think of a bad science-fiction movie, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Coming to us from where else — Dallas, Texas, Photon can be likened to a high-tech survival game, a live-in star wars, and another step in persuading an ignorant and apathetic populace of the power of the pistol.

For $3.50 per game (plus a $5 annual membership fee), players are divided into 2 teams of up to 10 each, then issued special space helmets and “phaser guns.” They then spend the next 6 minutes running around and shooting at each other. Instead of the forest terrain of the outdoor “survival” games, the battle-ground of Photon is “a sci-fi playing field of lights, mazes, tunnels, artificial fog machines and electronic sensors.” (Toronto Star, Aug. 21, 1984)

Photon is billed as an activity for the whole family (the ultimate Oedipal trip?) and is becoming the “bowling alleys of the 80’s.” In the States, Photon leagues have formed, battling it out on a weekly basis. Among the groups that have rented the Dallas Photon arena for their own private war are law firms, accounting offices, and Baptist and Methodist churches. Photon is open to children as young as 8 years old.

In January, 1985, Photon will open up in Rexdale, Ontario. Photon is “targetted” for other centres in Ontario as well as in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

Photon must be opposed, and it must be shut down, say the organizers of the War Toys Boycott campaign. It is immoral for Photon’s owners to be making money by teaching that war is OK, fun, and something which leaves no scars. Wherever Photon opens its doors, it is the duty of the peace movement to slam them shut, and to forbid them to open again.

You can register your opposition to Photon by telephoning the head Canadian Office (416 — xxx-xxxx), or by writing a letter of protest to: Photon Canada, Ltd., 6807 Steeles, Rexdale, Ont M9V 4R9.

For further information on the Campaign Against Photon, contact the War Toys Boycott, c/o Alliance for Non-Violent Action, 9 Melbourne Ave., Toronto, Ont. M6K 1L1 xxx-xxxx. For those outside the Toronto area, please let us know if a Photon is starting up near you, so that we can co-ordinate efforts.