The first time I heard of role-playing games was on a school bus when a class mate showed me his AD&D Player’s Handbook. I remember being amazed at all the different types of weapons and the stats each one had.
That was around 1984 or so. I continued with other TSR games like Star Frontiers, Boot Hill, Gang Busters and Gamma World. I eventually moved on to other games like Paranoia. This was my first phase.
While I never gave up role-playing games, there was a bit of lull until college. Then I started running a lot of Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun and AD&D 2nd edition’s Dark Sun. We would play well into the night, the next morning. To this day, Dark Sun is my favorite campaign setting. This was the end of my second phase.
After moving to California from Georgia, I picked it up again. I started buying up all the games I used to have on ebay and continued buying new games. I ran a few D&D 3.5 campaigns (best one taking place in Forgotten Realms Shining South using the official source book), played in a few Call of Cthulhu and GURPS games and attended DragonCon and Kublacon every year even though I never really played in any of the con games.
Now I’m playing in a D&D 4e campaign and hoping to run a Dark Sun 4e and Rogue Trader sometime early next year.