Playing laserquest battles while at Pembroke, Cambridge

I did my Cambridge masters degree quite late in life, in my fifties.  Despite this I behaved like a fairly typical student, cycling everywhere, eating pizza and frequenting pubs with friends.  I did hardly any work until March, then worked night and day to get my 30,000 word thesis on property investment done in time

I was still running the Adam Smith Institute, which took up some of my time, but I always found time for laserquest.  I fell in with a group of student friends who played it regularly, sometimes three times a week.  We either played as a team, taking on other players who turned up, or we played against each other.  We became pretty good at it, and gave the geography of the battle zone our private names.  There was Zack's hidey-hole, from which Zack would engage in expert sniping.  There was the Madsen corner, named for my preference for its commanding firing lines.  There was Rick's tower and Matt's retreat.

We'd wait breathlessly afterwards to see the scores come up on screen and be handed our own score-sheets.  It was breathless, too, because it was physically demanding to be dodging about, jumping up and down and rushing to outflank the enemy.  Most of us emerged soaked in sweat and cooled off afterwards in the nearby pub.

On one occasion a group of five 16 year-old schoolboys turned up, so we challenged them to a fight.  We offered them one of our team so it would be six on each side.  They accepted the challenge but informed us confidently that no, they didn't need an extra player.  It was mayhem, but we thrashed them.  After all, we'd had more practice.

Despite time spent on laserquest, all of us graduated, my six undergraduate friends in June, and myself with my masters degree in October.  My six team-mates came back in October to see me graduate, and then as a lap of honour we all went off and played one last game together.