I actually covered this in this post WAY back in March of 2008, but that's not the whole of the story, I suppose.
My mom and dad were actually huge influences on my eventually becoming a gamer, exposing me to fantasy and horror through movies, television, and books, as well as encouraging my imagination. My big brother even let me play Intellivision with him when I was young, and my grandparents loved board and card games, so I was familiar with cooperative an open-table gaming.
All of this, and realizing my mom might tell me no to a toy, but would buy me a comic book (because I was still reading, after all) really boosted my imagination even more. My love of true fantasy only grew when, in 6th grade, our teacher made us read The Hobbit, and showed us the old Bakshi movies. I was hooked.
For the next few years after this, RPGs were my favorite genre of video games, and I read books and comics constantly. Then, the happenings of the post linked to above happened. These events truly made me a gamer, and I was content to be a player, but I wanted to bring in my closest group of high school friends, but I didn't think I could hook them with Dungeons & Dragons. Then, an article in InQuest Magazine told of a game called Vampire: The Masquerade, and I knew this would be the game that would get my pals to buy in, since we all loved horror. It worked, and I had just multiclassed into Game Master!
The rest of this story up til the point when I began this blog would be a roller coaster ride of lost groups, hurt feelings, and long nights of great fun, but that's for another time, and not the focus of this post.