I've always been interested in games and gaming; however, as a teenager in the 80's, I had few "hobby" games (mostly West End Star Wars games) and only a few friends interested in playing. My RPG experience was even bleaker. I spent hours creating characters for the Basic D&D Red Box and almost got a group going with my best friend at the time and his brother. However, their Mother was convinced D&D was the instrument of the Devil, and that was that. I still have the handwritten copies of the characters I created…never to be played.
While in Grad School in the 90's, I feel into the CCG marketing trap. I was completely addicted to the Middle Earth CCG, collecting every single card and spending more money than I care to imagine. At least I played the game regularly for about 3 years. This was not so with my other addiction, Decipher's Star Wars CCG. I bought many of the expansions and have an impressive, if incomplete, collection. Yet, I only played a handful of games.
Then, in the early 2000's, I bought Knizia's Lord of the Rings Boardgame and my mind was blown. In part, I was simply floored that here was a game in which everything you needed to play was right there…there was no collecting and no rare components (expansions yes, but still). This was the promise of board gaming, and I was sold.
Initially, I focused on Lord of the Rings themed games, being a Lord of the Rings freak since I was a kid. In part, searching for Lord of the Ring's games led me to BoardGameGeek, and from there, I learned of the larger world of board gaming, and expanded beyond the Lord of the Rings.
I'm primarily interested in thematic games, and my collection shows this. I enjoy Euros as well, but most of my experience is with light Euros like Settlers or Ticket to Ride. I mostly stay away from heavy war-games as the time-committment and learning curve for these games is too steep for me. I'm lucky now to be a part of a great group of friends that meet once a month for an evening of gaming, drinking, and smack-talk.
In the last few years, I've been lucky to actually get back into RPG's. It started with RPGeek sponsored Mountains of Madness. After this finished, a number of Play-by-Forum opportunities opened up, and I was lucky enough many online Play-by-Forum sessions of D&D and the Lord of the Rings RPG with some great online friends. Luckily, my RPG playing didn't end here, and I found a great group through my Brother-in-law that plays every other week online through Google Hangouts. Since then, we've played various campaigns, including Star Wars, D&D, and Call of Cthulu. Currently, we're playing a Viking based game using the Legend system.