My earliest games were Operation
when I was a kid. I remember being introduced to Risk
when I was in Jr. High School, although I didn't care much for the latter. My parents had a copy of Gusher
when I was little, but I never got to play it because it was "for company".
When I got to college (Oklahoma State University
in Stillwater, OK) in the mid-'70s, I discovered Pente
, which was really hot on campus since the designer had developed the game while he attended school there just before I did. My dorm wing spent an entire semester hooked on Backgammon
one year. I was also introduced to Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition)
, that came in the six tan chapbooks. My first DM was a guy who had learned the game when it was still just a few pages in the back of Chainmail
. Being a big fan of science-fiction and fantasy, I took to this like a duck to water. A couple years later I tried playing Traveller (Classic)
, but didn't care for it.
After college I met some other gamers in my hometown of Tulsa, and we formed the "Tactical Simulation Society", where we played not only SF/F games but also some of the standard AH and SPI wargames. This club was intended to pull in enough members so we could start and run our own gaming convention -- "ConTest" -- which we soon did. It lasted about ten years, but eventually faded away after too many of us got involved with girls, focused on our careers, moved away, etc.
Although I grew up reading SF/F, for the last 10-15 years I have been more focused on reading History. I have gotten interested in my family background -- which happens to be Scottish -- and have been reading a lot about Scottish, Irish, and Celtic history and battles, and have become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries for Scotland. I have now begun to combine these two hobbies by collecting games with a Scottish theme.
My wife and I have been making an effort to get our kids interested in playing games by buying ones that the whole family can enjoy.