I grew up in a family that didn't play very many board/card games. However I would play some card games with my grandpa whenever I visited him and I loved it. I was playing games like rummy, cribbage and pinochle with my grandpa when I was 4 years old.
When I was 13 I was introduced to Magic: The Gathering and I was hooked for more money than I want to admit I spent. About the same time I got into playing chess and cribbage online. I played over ten thousand games of cribbage online alone.
As a freshman in college (2000) I was introduced to Settlers of Catan, and that has led me to play a number of other games.
I tend to like games that have simple and elegant mechanics, but have deep strategy to them. I like abstracts as well as themed games.