At present I am 45 years old married to a wonderful woman, who enjoys gaming almost as much as I do, and live in Chantilly, Va. My wife and two children, son 15 and daughter 9, are my gaming group.
From the ages of 12 to 16 I lived with my grandparents and we played dice, Rook, Spades, euchre, or Scrabble every evening or whenever we had some spare time. Those are some of the fondest memories I have and spawned my love of four player team bidding/trick taking games. Those are the kind of memories I want my children to have, playing games and having fun as a family.
The first board game I ever received was the Star Trek III Starship Combat Game when I visited Jacksonville, Florida in 1984. I was 14 then, wow. It was followed by Starfire, Starship Troopers, Starfleet Battles, and Ogre/G.E.V. when I was in Austin, Tx for the next few months.
A move to Roanoke, Va in 1986 brought about my first gaming group, (and my visit to my first gaming convention, Rovacon), where we played Battletech, Interceptor, and the newly released/updated FASA STCS, as well as some card games thrown in here and there, every weekend for two years in high school. After high school we all went our separate ways and I was out of the gaming scene for many years. I did find BGG somehow but lurked for a couple of years before I finally joined.
It has only been in the last couple of years that I have had the time, and funds, to explore the many different directions gaming has taken since I was active. It is incredible, and very encouraging, how much the hobby has grown and matured in the face of the video game explosion of the last couple of decades. I am introducing my son and daughter to everything that is gaming. There is so much to offer in the hobby now.
My thanks and kudos go out to everyone who has kept it thriving with no end in sight. Richard