I am not exactly sure, but I think I first heard of D&D in 1979 when on a hiking trip near Mt St Helens in Washington state, USA. I was an 11 year old kid, hiking and camping with my father. One evening as we camped by a lake, another hiker made his camp as well. He was a twenty something guy from Seattle, and among other things talked a bit about his game of D&D and how they had miniatures and were saving as a group to buy a Purple Worm. The next I heard, that same summer was from a friend who had played the game with a cousin while visiting. Without seeing a book or a box, I was hooked, and immediately wrote out a simple dungeon and ran this same friend through it. Needless to say, my games got better when I finally got the game, first the red box and then the blue, and then later the thick stack of books.
We played a lot of Car Wars as well and had a lot of fun with that, and when a game came along that would have that setting for role playing, we all had a good close look, and I jumped from TSR to GURPS with abandon, stopping off at Toon and Traveller on the way. I played one thing or another in GURPS for a long time and then became overwhelmed at the sheer volume of available rules and went looking for something else. I found Savage Worlds and decided that I would play that, and had rather a bit of various fun with it for a long time. Then I moved away from my game group and lost interest in gaming for a year and a few months, returning looking into simpler smaller games with interesting mechanics and more narrative driven ideas, while simultaneously dabbling in the OSR retro clones and offshoots.
Now I am here, with thirty some-odd years of dabbling in role playing games, wargames, acting, writing and drawing and I am ready to play.