A child's life is often full of games. Since I grew up with computers, it probably won't surprise you to know that I remember DUNGEO very fondly. Dad and I mapped it together, requiring two small packages of 3x5 cards. Long room descriptions were written on the back. Never heard of it? Ah well, most people heard of The Great Underground Empire of Zork after it got to the stores, in shrink wrap, after computers became personal and commonplace.
As I grew I found I prefer games where groups of people play together, aiding each other to reach some common goal. Not those bloodthirsty competitive games like Sorry and Monopoly -- a game where the actions of your fellow players made each adventure a little different; where working together made it far more likely that you would succeed.
Not that I never played board games. I played a few wargames with my dad (Panzer Blitz was my favorite, with Risk second), Mandate of Heaven, Oddysey with its map scroll and bonelike dice. But I found that role playing games gave me a chance to meet adult concepts in a safe way, and play at social roles I may never have in real life.
I have played many characters over the years...
What I like in a game is a game master willing to enforce the "laws of physics", breathe life into the landscape and non-player characters, and generally, play with us. I like players able to play the hopes and fears of their characters consistently enough that our characters interact, amd we merely play. I like enough puzzle that craftiness can sometimes win over mere brawn or tools, but enough action that there is excitement. And it's a plus if the stats system is light enough that the whole game isn't burdened in the paperwork instead of the play (role playing, not roll playing).
In short, I'm spoiled rotten by having good game masters to play with. Unfortunately, the ones I know all live in the San Fernando Valley, and I don't. If you know of a consistently running RPG game in the Silicon Valley area, not live action but gather-around-the-pizza-all-day yet compatible with a business life, I'm interested in meeting them and seeing how they play. I'm even willing to learn yet another gaming system... but maybe not RoleMaster ... still, I would consider it ideal if a character I already have could suit. Tell me about your game and we'll exchange notes. Or, if you long for the same, you're in this area, and I find there's enough of us, maybe I'll set up a game.