“We just wanted to play video games in real life,” said Ibrahim Pasha, the youthful CEO of Skirmos — an ambitious open-source laser tag gun started by a handful of former high school pals.
Pasha and CTO Richard Rice were “best friends since kindergarten,” playing video games side by side for years. But eventually, they grew disappointed with the stagnant technology of Airsoft guns. “Humans subjectively saying whether they died or not?” said Pasha. Imagine.
So they decided to create Skirmos, a laser tag gun that allows users to code their own game types and configure dozens of features, from kill streaks to perks, to the color and sound emitted by the gun itself.
Skirmos is incorporated in D.C. but its team of six is clustered around Silver Spring. Five of them met at Montgomery Blair High School.
The Skirmos team exceeded its $60,000 Kickstarter goal, raising almost $100,000 as of April.
It’s more than just a piece of hardware, though: the company intends to create a platform for users to share their code or download the company’s game setups.
“We want to create an open community around the art of gaming,” said chief operating officer Gabriel Resstack. It’s along the lines of what 3D printing giant MakerBot has done with its Thingiverse.
The Skirmos gang hasn’t bandied around the guns for a full game yet, but they’re planning to try it out over the holidays (most are still in college).
“Wintertime kind of exposes you to the most extreme conditions,” said Resstack. A good occasion to test the gun’s resiliency.
The gun should be released next year, the company says, at an estimated price of $120.