I was in high school. My senior year, I'd moved to a new high school my senior year and I was hanging out with some of the guys that had bussed in from the SW side of San Diego and the rest were guys that took comics seriously enough to train in martial arts. I was also spending half my days doing Calculus and Physics at UCSD, so I never fit in anywhere but with this bunch of scary smart, really fit outcasts.
A beautiful, powerful black guy was running a samurai game using the paper pamphlets from D&D. I bought the white box set of pamphlets and probably never actually used them, as the GM pretty much used it as just the basis of the characters and the game. We did all kinds of research on the dress, customs, and mannerisms of the time. We outcasts were the players, and we played that way.
I don't think I played straight D&D until I played angband. *laughter* But from there, I branched out into all kinds of things, mostly thanks to the Horde and amberley (who still rarely used the books). I continued it, online with incandescens and In Nomine. I still try on new personalities like a new suit of clothes. Gaming is where I learned that I had to think outside any box given to really find an answer. So I probably wouldn't be what I am now, if this guy hadn't done what he did. So, thank you. Thank you very, very much.