Short summary: I've been playing games since I can remember.
One highlight of family holidays was playing cards with my parents and siblings. Black Queen aka Hearts was one favourite which my mother invariably lost and my father equally invariably won.
I was lucky enough at secondary school to be exposed to Dungeons and Dragons when it first came out - a group of us played this loads and loads, in a very primitive way I now realise! The same group also got into modern boardgames like Warlock, Cosmic Encounter and Divine Right. With my brother I played many a wargame - mostly SPI titles.
This theme continued at University where Diplomacy was the staple diet. I was even chair of the Birmingham University Diplomacy Society, though this was slightly misnamed by the time I was there as many other boardgames were also played, and I fell under the spell of the 'German' games which were just making their way over to the UK, alongside stalwarts like Railway Rivals, Sopwith, Survive and so on (all played postally as well as face to face).
Since then things have gone from strength to strength. The advent of the internet and the explosion of titles has made the choice of great games almost overwhelming. Having to make choices about which games to play is agonising at times!
Manchester, my place of residence for the next chunk of time, is full of gamers and hence gaming opportunities blossomed, along with my ever increasing collection.
I'm fortunate in having a gaming wife - I can take the credit for showing her what was out there though. One early memory was of her then flatmate saying rather boastfully that she was rather good at Scrabble, only to be comprehensively beaten by me. Playing games in the evening is a regular activity, and now we've moved to the gaming wilderness that is the Scottish Borders this is particularly important. Still, we live in hopes of converting some of the locals.....and, more importantly, we've managed to connect with a few existing gamers living reasonably nearby, so are meeting up every month. Very much enjoying this!
We also have a growing contingent of home-grown gamers, in the shape of three children, all of whom love playing games as can be seen from my monthly geeklists "New to Your Kids". The two older boys are getting to the stage where they are perfectly competent opponents, which is really great and means the adults can just enjoy playing to win.