From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
My Dad and 2 older brothers were really interested in history and as a very little kid I watched The World at War with the family. I wasn't exactly sure what was going on but there seemed to be heaps of cool planes, tanks, ships and explosions so it looked pretty interesting. Obviously lots of it was very uncool for those involved and Mum and Dad always inculcated us with an empathy for the grim reality.
I was always reading stuff that was advanced for my age, (I read The Lord of the Rings when I was 8), and I started studying the World Wars at about the same time. I also made aircraft scale models and was particularly interested in military aviation.
My brothers and I, as well as my best friend, were keen on Dungeons and Dragons. Somehow through this I was vaguely aware that there were military games that used maps, but coming from a small city in sleepy NW Tasmania, I was never exposed to them directly. It was only when I moved to the big smoke of Hobart that I found a hobby shop with actual wargames in it.
My first wargame (apart from chess) was Case Green from a copy of Strategy & Tactics. It's a hypothetical 1938 German invasion of Czechoslovakia. I convinced a friend to work it out with me. I had one of those "dazzling light and chorus of angels" moments though, when I saw the box for World in Flames. I greedily drank in the back of the box and knew I had to have it.
I bought a PC in the late 90's, (when I finally had some cash), in time for Ardennes Offensive, TOAW, Combat Mission etc Ever since then I've been waiting for the computer version of World in Flames, but Steve's doing a great job under trying circumstances and there's light at the end of the tunnel.