I’m a gamer

I love games. My first memory of gaming is playing chess or checkers with my father when I was very young, before age 6. This might be a fiction of memory, but it’s my canonical story.

I also grew up along with computer games. I was born in 1971, and while video games pre-date me, this was the year the first home game console was developed and shortly before my birth, the first coin-operated games started to appear shortly after. Space invaders appeared when I was 7 years old, just the right age to appreciate it and perhaps have a few quarters to my name.

Meanwhile, chainmail, the precursor to Dungeons and Dragons was first published in the year of my birth and D&D was first sold three years later. I was a bit young yet for these but I’d like to think they were refining themselves as I was being groomed on Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

I fell headlong into video games the moment I was aware of them. I probably spent more time with Legos as a child, but I was still pretty fond of them. My mother had the foresight to gift me a TI-994a when I was still pretty young. It had some great games and I had my first taste of programming with this machine as well.

It was actually my father’s parents who got me started on D&D. They got me the famous Red Box basic D&D starter kit when I was around 10 years old, 5th grade or thereabouts. Frankly, I didn’t really understand what it was, but I knew it was awesome just by looking at the pictures.

It took about a year to find others who I could play D&D with but the moment I did, it was right down the rabbit hole of hobby gaming for me. D&D led to Battletech, and that led to Magic the Gathering, and so on in a long parade of interests and obsessions. All the while, I kept up with my interest in computer games and board games.

It’s safe to say that from Jr Highschool on, the vast bulk of my friends have been made through gaming. I’ve played countless games for countless hours. Mostly, my career never was directly about gaming, but my desire to work with computers was driven by my desire to make video games and tools for tabletop games.

Gaming cannot be separated from the story of my life. It is not the whole of it by any stretch, but it is an integral part of the waft and weave of it. If I had to state my identity: being a decent person would be #1 and being a gamer would be #2.

Sigfried

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