I could have described this as many things, a hobby, a sport, an obsession. But I think that addiction is far more click-bait like, so far better! It is of course Laser Tag. This is a short series of blog posts describing some of my exploits travelling around playing laser tag, and it really has taken me around the world and allowed me to meeting great (and crazy) people who share the same addiction.
It all started back when I was about 12 years old. The family had gone to Spring Harvest, a Christian bible camp that took over a Butlins holiday camp for the Easter holidays. This was a significant upgrade on Downs Bible week, where they took over a race course and everyone camped in tents. The year before I went there it was nicknamed Drowns Bible week due to the flooding and loss of quite a few tents. At the Butlins camp we had a chalet and didn’t have to wade through mud to get anywhere. The downside was that is also had fire alarms, which proceeded to wake us up in the middle of the night. My Mum got me up and walking, and my Dad grabbed my sister in her sleeping bag and we headed out to the safe spot. My Dad tried to put my sister down so she was standing in her sleeping bag, but she was unable to stand. It was then we found out why, my Dad was trying to stand her on her head!
The Butlins site offered some entertainment, but there is only so many goes on the dodgems before it gets boring. So it was that I ventured out to the seafront parade down the road from the holiday camp and explored.
The arcade was full of your typical seaside amusements such as coin pushers and arcade games, but at the back was the counter for the Quasar game. This sounded really exciting and different, and so it was that I handed over the few coins I had and went in for my first ever game of lasertag. The arena was made of fake rock effect walls. The buzz was amazing and I loved every minute, even if there was a bit where I couldn’t work out how I was being hit only to look down and realise there was a big hole in the barrier where I was standing. The game ended and everyone waited with anticipation of the game results, with the noisy clatter of the dot matrix printer churning out the scorecard slips. That scorecard is lost to the mists of time sadly, although it was nothing to write home about. But playing sparked something inside me, and I wanted more.