I've been gaming since elementary school, though hopefully I've improved since then. My first recollection is "Expedition to Barrier Peaks," though mostly I think I was excited about having laser guns. Hey, it was fourth grade, or thereabouts.
Growing up, I mainly played D&D, though dabbled in Champions, Shadowrun, Gamma World (though that was mostly in my Monty Haul era and I shudder to think of it), Battletech, TMNT, Toon, Torg, Talislanta and even a home-brew game or two.
After getting out of the hobby for a few years in college, I got back into it with D&D 2.0, advanced to 3.0 and switched to Pathfinder in late 2010.
My gaming history:
Like others, I started way back with the boxed edition -- I want to say I was in the third or fourth grade, which would've been '83 or '84. I remember the blue dice you had to pencil in with the white crayon thing. I have the vaguest of memories of running through "Expedition to Barrier Peaks."
I played a lot growing up, though to be honest, I don't recall most of the campaigns. I think they were probably a lot of just getting huge amounts of treasure. I vaguely remember one female wizard who ended up having lots of animals she trained -- I think she had a cheetah/leopard/liger/something and rode around on an elephant by the end. And I wanted to change her name in the middle of gaming so the first name ended up being a pseudonym she used since you never want to let people know your real name.
Ooooh, and I just remembered I had a kender. I LOVED kenders. I of course had a list with all the stuff in her pouches so I could roll to see what I grabbed. And the artifact she got that gave her a white stripe down her hair -- obviously that was when we got in our X-Men phase.
Fortunately, my parents are old fantasy nerds -- my mother especially still loves Lord of the Rings (our first dog was named after a character from the books) -- so they were always encouraging of my hobby.
I tried bunches of other games, which mostly means I'd make up characters and if I ever played them, it was never more than a half-dozen times: Top Secret, Toon, Gamma World, Battletech, TMNT, Torg, Talislanta, a home-brew game or two (though Champions and Shadowrun lasted a bit longer). Like you all, I kept coming back to fantasy, mostly D&D.
The fallow ages
I tried to start up a bit again freshman year in college, but it didn't work out for reasons I don't really recall. I guess I just didn't hit it off with the group of gamers I'd met, so moved on to other pursuits (mostly IRC, and RAC* on Usenet).
After college, I moved out to the middle of nowhere, Ohio. Definitely no role-playing there.
When 4.0 came out, I bought those books, as did one of my friends and we both kind of decided we'd still just stick with 3.0 (especially since our third friend had no interest in buying new books). I forget how I discovered Pathfinder. Most likely, my friend bought the book, though I don't know how he'd have learned of it. I knew Paizo had taken over Dungeon magazine, but I'd no clue about Pathfinder.
Once I learned about it, though, I felt (and feel) like it fixed soooo much of what I didn't like about 3.0 that I really couldn't have been (and still can't) be much happier with it. I remember just being SOOOO excited about it when I learned about it, especially with how skills had been fixed. Where 3.0 gave a fighter, for example, no skill points and no options on where to spend them, Pathfinder (or D&D 3.75 as I probably shouldn't admit we still sometimes call it...) took away the restrictions and made it so I could have a fighter who could also spot something lurking in ambush.
Started doing PBP games on the website a year ago, shortly after discovering the website and Superstar contest.
I figured I'd practice all year and never did. : / When this year's contest came around, I was STILL playing with that item in my head. Then I was lying in bed and the mirror of many echoes (posted in the self-reject thread) came to me out of nowhere. I wrote up a couple versions of that, but just couldn't quite nail it. I think I was perusing last year's items (and the critique thread) when something in the candle of viscous ephemera caught my interest. From there, my haunting glass was born.
I probably consider myself weakest on the mechanical aspects of the game. I think where I excel is adventure ideas and general world building -- I like things to have consistency. I'm really excited (and nervous, of course) to see feedback for Round 2, since I *think* it's the round that plays best to my strengths (though whether people will like the choices I made, who knows). I'm far more nervous about Round 3 and 4 -- because I generally play with just two people, the balance I'm used to working for is off from the standard. I don't actually create a lot of my own monsters (or magic items, for that matter), since I tend to use mostly humanoid NPCs with classes as my bad guys and then rely on a couple choices from the Bestiaries.