Born 1969, kids born 2004 and 2007. I teach physics at Lund university, Sweden, and do research in biological physics and computational biology.
I have always loved board games, but also card games and good, strategically challenging solitaires. My youth was spent largely on chess, at amateur club level, but I never rose very high in the ranking system.
Now, when my kids are old enough to give me some time, I start to pick up on my board game interest again. I tend to abandon the abstract games (though I love the beauty of a complex strategic challenge created with just a hand-full of rules) going towards more and more theme - it simply becomes a more entertaining and fun experience. Maybe it is my chess period that makes me delve into abstracts with too much seriousness.
Coming from the abstract side, I right now explore the Euro-type of games, but through my fandom of Tolkien's world, I also try some more theme-heavy games. I start to appreciate the fact that hundreds of rules spread out on cards create great game variability, but is a bit annoyed that there are so many rule clashes that have to be resolved by searching faqs and fora (forums, that is) - that never happens in chess!
There is one exception to this rule, and that is a game that I was utterly obsessed by for many years some decades ago - Dungeonquest. It is light and luck-based, I agree, but it is certainly relying on its theme, and I just love it. To my delight, my nephews seem to enjoy the game almost as much as my sister and I did in our younger years. (But I admit that my love is more nostalgia than love for the game itself.)
I explore games a lot by solo play, but roughly once per month I invite friends to a board game afternoon. This means casual play, often involving kids. I am also the game guru that provides entertainment to my relatives and family on summer and Christmas holidays.
My avatar shows Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr, two of the most excellent theoretical physicists of the 20th century, intensively studying a "tippe-top". If those brilliant minds can be so fascinated by that toy, then I can enjoy board games!