For Erich -- Dude, I'm sorry this is taking so long. But at the end, I've got five words I want to see on your LJ.
Anyway, gaming is the fourth word that my friend gave me. Which is a fun word. I associate it with meeting up with friends and hanging out for a few hours, having VERY inappropriate conversations and goofing off for a few hours.
I also have to credit gaming for introducing me to Jeff. Back in the day, there was a live-action role playing thing called Madison By Night when it was founded in 1867 (KIDDING!). The previous year, when I was doing theater work, I met someone who introduced me to White Wolf and the Werewolf game, which really interested me. I didn't play, but a seed was planted in my head.
Jeff and I had spent the summer talking to each other on a BBS (yes, back in the day of dial-up modems. Remember, this was 1867) and he mentioned he played the Werewolf game. I said I was interested and he told me to talk to his friend at the Student Organization meet-and-greet thing they hold every fall. I didn't meet Jeff then, but I got hooked up with Madison By Night, a live-action role-playing game focused on vampires. Afterwards, Jeff invited me to a party at his friends' house (they were the organizers behind Madison by Night) and well, the rest is history.
I'm not one for LARPing (as it's called), because of the following reasons: 1) I'm a terrible actor and very one-dimensional. 2) I don't scheme very well. 3) I hate dressing up. But when Jeff introduced me to tabletop gaming, I found a very fun hobby.
Like a lot of women (not all, but I'm willing to bet the majority), I got introduced to gaming thanks to a boyfriends or a spouse. And it stuck with me because it was a good outlet for meeting friends -- I found geeky, sweet and smart friends who are great fun to be around. These friends helped show me the ropes to gaming and were also tolerant of several newbie mistakes (DO NOT TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON'S DICE. DO NOT TELL THEM HOW TO PLAY THEIR CHARACTER.).
Without a doubt, gaming's become a big part of my life. I still play very similar characters -- I like doing broad comedy, hate scheming and enjoy beating things to death (when in doubt, violence). I am not a patient person, so the characters I play are rather simple. But really, it's what I like and my friends don't mind, so it's all good.
I expect it to be part of Benevolent Dictator's future too. She already knows how to say, "Half-orc," and "bugbear." What's amusing is that one kid in my neighborhood is already interested in gaming -- she's seen the books and some of my characters. Who knows? I might end up introducing the next generation to gaming. I'LL BE AN ENABLER!