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How interactive location-based entertainment can bond families

Karla Christensen is a landscape designer and one of our alliance design members who works on our projects. She is presently living in Caragena, Columbia where her husband is working for the United Nations. Last month she sent me an email about her new found experiences playing laser tag. Here’s what she said:

“Having a 10-year-old is exposing me to a whole new world. Last week in Colombia was laser tag out in a ‘what looked like’ a garbage dump of old cars and buses. Sandro and I played with five other 10-year-olds and we had a blast. My relationship with my son has ‘metamorphed’ into ‘my buddy mom’, complete with shared yellow and purple bruises. This week was a cleaner indoor laser tag at Main Event in Friendswood, Texas where ten kids shot at each other on two levels connected with ramps. At the end of the party, when asked what their favorite activity was in the FEC (with bowling, arcade games, 4-D experiences, cafes, etc.,), they chose unanimously laser tag.

I am reminded of the article that you included in one of your newsletters:

Group physical interactive experiences at entertainment venues such as laser tag and bowling break down the barriers of conversation and fear of real world socialization.

This is true. In a world where our children are constantly alone on their tablets, it is so important to create environments where they can have fun with each other. It can even bring mom and dad together with their son to.”

Karla, thanks for this important insight.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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