We recently gave this a go, but here we aren’t focused on that adventure but rather what “this” should be called. Let’s get down to business:
The “laser” part is a draw. So then: “tag” is a game for children, a “skirmish” is minor episode in a war between men. The activity involves trying to shoot your foes with laser guns. It’s “cops & robbers” with rifles. The name “tag” takes the edge of violence off of it, but anybody who needs to edge of violence taken off it shouldn’t be playing a game with guns anyway. As words go, “tag” is an ugly word and “skirmish” is a fun one, but “tag” goes much better with “laser”–“laser tag” rolls off the tongue and sounds zippy, whereas “laser skirmish” gets hung up in the r sounds. “laser tag” feels like it is taking-ordinary-tag-and-making-it-awesome.
Jeremy’s winner: laser tag (I hate this pick, because I love the word “skirmish,” and “laser skirmish” is still fresh and fun to my ear, but making picks based on novelty would be as great a sin as sentimentality.)