Video tapes had just come out, bringing home a whole new world of entertainment; MTV was changing the nature of television video by video, and heck - for the geek crowd anyway - there was the advent of the role playing game. Yes, when I hear about RPGs, I'm not thinking of rocket propelled grenades; I'm thinking about multi-sided dice.
Just to be clear on this. I wasn't a total and complete RPG convert. I only participated in one D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) adventure before being completely bored out of my mind. And I only played in that one because two of the other players were these hot (all-right, semi-hot...) girls; and I thought they might go in for an elvish threesome.
I did enjoy role-playing games, but since I didn't play Dungeons & Dragons, guess what I played instead? A handful of tribbles and a snout-full of tranya to any reader who guessed...Star Trek.
FASA produced this fantastic Star Trek role playing game in the mid-1980s and I loved it. I played it through the end of high school and part of college (until I met my then-girlfriend/now-wife, Kathryn...who introduced me to different kinds of role playing...).
But back to the game. I joined a cadre of friends, including my roommate, and together we populated the crew of a Federation starship, the U.S.S. Nassau. I was the first officer and a human being (yes, I'm boring...), and we had an Andorian communications officer and a Caitian science officer. Our chief engineer was a Vulcan female (a Saavik rip-off, no doubt). We had lots of adventures together and many space battles. The adventure ended for me when my character got abducted to another space-time dimension by some super-intelligent telepathic life form. Yeah, bummer, huh?
But over the years, role playing games have come in all shapes and sizes. I have cloudy memories of playing an espionage role playing game in high school called Top Secret. It was fun; though I remember almost nothing about it. There was also a James Bond role-playing game for a time; between Octopussy (1983) and A View to A Kill (1985), I think. I played that one a few times...
And then, further indulging my love of superheroes, there was a Marvel Superheroes role playing game! Man, that one was terrific fun too. I played that one for a spell in high school too, if memory serves. You can see what the little character cards look like (replete with character powers, below.)
I guess RPGs are still pretty popular today, though I don't know for sure because they aren't really my thing nowadays. I can't imagine sitting around and rolling dice for hours on end (and not showering...) when I could be making movies, blogging, writing books, playing video games, watching Box Set DVDs, restoring our house, etc.