(Image from Wikipedia entry)
5th or 6th grade I think. Our first boarder (a blind kid) had a knack for understanding otherworldly utilities like "Bulletin Boards" and wotnot. Dad’s XT and Green Screen transported us to a world of magic and swords and stats. Stats like you wouldn’t believe. At least, for a small-brained individual such as myself, who at that time thought Dungeons and Dragons was pretty much of the devil. Course, I didn’t actually know what D&D _was_.
For us, this game was a boon. I played Bard’s Tale for what seems like an eternity in memory. The number of friday nights I told Mum I’d be in bed soon, "I’ve just got to map my way home".
Mapping was such a big part of Bard’s Tale for me. Not just because I could use it as a map, but because it was an experience in itself. The graph paper, pencils, keeping them sharp, working out symbols for various in-game placements, encounters, and other stuff.
Sometimes I miss this. It’s a left behind mechanism. And it wasn’t a sold mechanism anyway, more of a by-product. These days you have in-game maps and mini-maps and sometimes even note taking abilities within the game.
But it doesn’t match up. There are some things that are far superior on the computer. I love have proper overhead maps and mini-maps for their purpose. But one day I’d like to make a game where people used exterior implements to fashion their own experiences of the world I’d created.
What are your earliest RPG memories?