This one really hits home with me.
Although I played many other role-playing games Dungeons & Dragons was the all time champ. I have no idea how many countless hours of enjoyment this wonderful little game brought to my young life. Entire weekends were spent in my parent's (literal) basement running friends through so many battles and so much adventure that the telling of them all would fill a dozen books. Nothing fueled my fantasy loving imagination more than this wonderful game because it allowed me to create and embellish tales in a way that made the the monsters and evil wizards more fun. The players I was creating these tales of bloody quests with relished the often mad details and we all loved crafting a world of sword wielding heroics that could almost be seen as we rolled those dice. Just flipping through the Monster Manual or the Fiend Folio was enough to get the creative juices flowing and conjure up new tricks and traps to spring on the other players.
The game was inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard and as designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Anderson is an amazingly immersive experience. As a kid, being able to put myself into a world populated by elves, wizards, dwarves, trolls and dragons of different colors and powers was incredible. I cannot overemphasize how much joy D&D gave me over the years. I learned a lot playing this game and I'm not ashamed to say that a lot of those lessons have served me well in later life. That may sound silly but it is true. Playing this game helped make me a better person. How's that for countering all the crazy BS from the press in the 1980's?