All right, time for a real bio. After reading some others, I realize that a thumbsketch just isn't enough. I turn 63 this week, and have gamed at one level or another since I can remember, so it's probably been 50 years of board gaming, longer than any other hobby I've ever pursued.
My earliest recollection of gaming probably included "Game of the States," "Bas-ket" and "Pirate and Traveller" when I was a grade schooler, two of which helped me to learn geography, still a subject of interest. Later on in that life (there are several lives to come, see?), games like "Life" (sorry about that; I didn't know any better) and "Careers" gave me some idea that games as simulation could be a help in planning one's life. Good thing I didn't play "Mouse Trap" until a little later!
At college, there was a group of folks that played "Risk" pretty much all weekend, every weekend, sometimes only one game per weekend! I bounced off that group only a couple of times; too intense for the game played. At that time, I became a bit of a chess freak, once beating the best player in the chess club at a game at a party. I was a bit drunk, and he didn't drink, so I can't remember how I did it!
In graduate school (I have a Ph.D. in theoretical Atomic Physics), I discovered lots of "adult" card games, such as Bridge, Whist, Pinochle and the like. I also began playing Othello, which was my intro into abstract games, a passion I have today. I was introduced to Go during this period, and have studied the game a bit, but hardly played. I also learned too many pub games, like Darts and Pool and Shuffleboard (on the table). This period found me playing lots of hex and counter wargames, and such games as Magic Realm and Diplomacy, StarForce Alpha Centauri and Source of the Nile. I was part of a couple of game groups during this period, and we expanded to Dungeons and Dragons for a little while. The amount of time spent on RPGs was just prohibitive, and was eating into my budding relationship with the woman who became my wife (28 years!), so although I like the concept of RPGs as really an ultimate gaming experience, I couldn't balance that with an actual life, and RPGs lost.
The real job is gone. I was laid off at age 59 after 27 years. In the '80s, we played Civilization, Star Fleet Battles, Merchant of Venus, and lots of wargames, and even Magic Realm again! A hiatus occurred in the late '80s and '90s as I pursued other hobbies, notably rock climbing and volleyball. After the move to Denver (1994), basketball and tennis resumed learned to ski (of course) and took up golf again (another story entirely; suffice it to say that the trophies are piling up). More importantly, after a few years of adapting to a new lifestyle and larger house and dogs (no kids, alas), I rediscovered gaming, this time an entirely new genre -- eurogames. I had subscribed to GAMES magazine for a while, because I love their brand of puzzles, and started looking at their "games of the year" issue. I finally tried a couple of them, and the one that really grabbed my attention was "Torres." I thought the theme was a bit thin, but the simple scoring mechanism, the patterns you come up with, and the game mechanics were wonderful, and I was hooked. I'm definitely a eurogamer now; I really like the way that a good eurogame keeps everyone at the table engaged, I like the relative simplicity of the rules, and I just think they're fun! I started up a game group a few years ago, and we typically game once every few months (the day job and all that tends to get in the way), and usually need two tables to get everyone playing. Of course, I bring most of the games and get to explain most of the new games, but not all.
Recently, a lot has happened: I'm doing the tutoring job where I help high-school kids with ACT and SAT prep, and all levels of math, etc.! I'm in my third year as a tennis coach, coaching (mostly cheerleading) the JV girls and boys at Mullen H.S. here in town.
My favorite hobby, in addition to the tennis, skiing and golf (I had to give up basketball at age 53) is acting. I've hooked up with several community theaters, and have been writing plays as well in my rapidly shrinking down time. So, role playing has taken on an entirely new meaning for me...