Great memories of playing Monopoly, etc. while watching cartoons and 'The Price is Right' with my brother, and years later, Scrabble, Risk, and others with family & friends on evenings at the cottage. Growing up in N. Ontario, had NO IDEA what was out there for BG's.
Revelation came one Christmas home from university - received the original Axis & Allies as a gift from my sister and bro-in-law. Don't know why they thought of it (brilliant insight?) but it was the best gift ever; poring over strategy with little plastic tanks, planes, and ships = joy!
Like many others, eventually introduced to a whole new type of game with Settlers of Catan - still one of my favs. Enjoy most types of BG's but as yet have no experience with hard-core war games. Still drawn in by big games with lots of bits. Not into CCG's or minis - don't think my proficiency at a game should depend on $.
Love modifications and variants.