You may be hot stuff when you’re sitting on the sofa, console controller in hand, battling through computerized combat scenarios or fighting off the pixelated zombie apocalypse. But how will you cope when you’re forced out of your comfort zone and into a real-world war zone? Strap on a replica, laser-targeted M4 assault rifle or holster a modified Glock pistol and find out at the Indoor Extreme Sports nonlethal combat facility in Queens, New York.
IES takes authentic training scenarios used by the U.S. Army and law enforcement agencies and combines them with the most intense laser-tag experiences you can imagine to bring shoot-’em-up gaming to life. “Our advanced M4 military platform is as real as it gets,” says IES founder Peter Fermoselle. “It’s light years ahead of the training system the U.S. military currently employs.”
Two main war games are offered within the 38,000-square-foot former cheese factory that houses IES’s various battlegrounds. “Your every sense is at its limit in there,” says Adam Green, a survivor of a close encounter of the undead kind. “The adrenaline really pumps through you and pushes you right to the edge. I was very scared, you bet. They come at you from everywhere.”
Advice from the Inside
Participants in IES’s law enforcement and military training scenarios wear the “shockbelt” system, which sends an electric current through them when hit. “Our insurance has given us a preliminary thumbs-up to use it recreationally,” says founder Peter Fermoselle. “It’s a real game changer.”
Get Outta Town
More to do outside NYC
A two-hour drive from NYC, at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains in Ellenville, sits the Mountain Wings Flight Park, dubbed the hang-gliding capital of the Northeast.
Travel by train to Montauk for a shark-fishing trip in the North Atlantic. Sail out on one of Captain John Krol’s two charter boats, start spreading the chum and wait.
Drive out from the Big Apple to the Appalachians and strap yourself to the highest, longest, fastest zipline in North America.