John believes he was born wanting to play board games. This interest took a bounding leap forward when he discovered a copy of Avalon Hill’s Gettysburg at his Civil War buff (but non game playing) uncle’s house. His fascination with games fluctuated somewhat after high school due to distractions such as college, marriage and family — plus admitting that playing games was the height of “dweebity” (i.e. not for “normal people”).
Life took an abrupt right angle turn when he discovered responsible citizens who seemed normal in every respect … except they liked playing board games! This changed his leisure time activities, friendships and spending habits dramatically.
In 1982 he decided to spend a day at GenCon, a massive gaming and science fiction convention, and has not missed another one since that fateful day. It was there where he discovered Settlers of Catan. He later found issue #1 of Counter in a London Game store (gamer OCD: you consider game stores a prime tourist attraction when visiting a new city) and promptly subscribed. Since no one was writing about the games he saw at GenCon, he began sending reports to the magazine, where they have become popular features. You can continue to read his reports from GenCon and Origins each year. He also contributes occasional game reviews.