Minis are life! I live by the motto “he who dies with the most toys wins!” (and “gamers only die when their paint table is clear” - and I intend to live forever!And I thought I would be the old timer...(I also did TOM pick up games in school)
Moved to grids while running 2E, and almost always since. In part for "where is my PC issues" but mostly for tactical play.
1E had the most confusing approach to minis...lots of references in the rules, and various official lines of minis, but in practice lots of TOM. But then I got mini curious, then I started to see dry erase mats, in the 90s, and there was no looking back.
Yes, it can also be fun to play with minis, but then you may need lots minis, if you insist on having the right ones for the situation.