When were you introduced to


And just for you youngsters, Star Wars wasn't released on home video until 1982. So when I was watching Star Wars on the VCR in 1980 it was a bootleg copy.

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Earlier I said that I didn't know what Earthsea was, but looking it up, I probably read some of them in the 80's and just haven't thought of them since then. When I was a kid, my mother kept her vast book collection in my bedroom, and I read a LOT of it. Ursula K. Le Guin was definitely on the shelves, along with Asimov, Barbara Hambly, Steven Brust, and various others. Tolkien, obviously. I used to be able to write fluently in his Dwarvish runes (as seen on the Hobbit) AND in his Goblin script (which was in the Father Christmas Tales).


And just for you youngsters, Star Wars wasn't released on home video until 1982. So when I was watching Star Wars on the VCR in 1980 it was a bootleg copy.
That's how I rewatched "The Empire Strikes Back" a couple of days before "Return of the Jedi" hit theatres. It was in the video store of a friend's father, that he managed for him. They didn't have that store for long.


Buying the first four issues in a special pack at Zaryes(it was like K-Mart, but worse).

We had a Zayre Dept. Store near us in the early '80's... It was the store I was in when I got caught shoplifting in junior high. :p
It had a hideous brown-and-orange color scheme with beige walls. I used to get all my G.I. Joe and Transformers toys there.
(I had no idea until I looked them up just now that the Zayre company also spawned TJ Maxx and BJ's Wholesale Club...)

A few things that have been brought up since my post -

Conan - I would have seen it as soon as it hit VHS in 1984.
(On a side note, the first local video store opened about a mile and a half from my house sometime in '82-'83, I think, so I had plowed through pretty much every single PG-to-R-rated sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movie from the '60's through the '80's that had been released on VHS by the time I finished junior high in '86 - refer to my "free-range parenting" comment in my first post, lol.)

LotR - I found a set of the paperback editions at a yard sale for 50 cents apiece right around '84 or so (just starting junior high)... (Cool Story, Bro: The guy holding the yard sale invited my father and I down into his basement - where he had signed 1st editions of The Hobbit and LotR... :love: )

The Black Company by Glen Cook - I believe I first discovered the series in high school. The first three books had already been out for a couple years when I found them in Waldenbooks, and the fourth book came out less than a year after I'd finished reading the first three.

Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson - Started reading these when the first one was published.

Honor Harrington series by David Weber - Been reading these more or less since the beginning, but fell off by the 8th or 9th book when the universe started expanding beyond the main story line into prequels and anthologies.

Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - started reading both of these somewhere around 2010 or so, picking them up as I haphazardly found them available at the local used bookstores and Goodwill.

And just for you youngsters, Star Wars wasn't released on home video until 1982. So when I was watching Star Wars on the VCR in 1980 it was a bootleg copy.
Back in the '80s our nearest store was "Als". Als Feed Store, Gun Shop, Used Car, Beer Bait, BBQ, Barber Shop, Tractor Parts, 8-Tracks, Trampolines, Tux Rental, Groceries, Video, Post Office, Taxidermy, Laundromat........

Als was one of those places that was like, er, five car garages and sheds built near each other and connected by walkways(sort of). And the video store part, had lots of black plastic boxes with VCR tapes with white stickers where someone wrote "The Star War" or "The Indy Jones" or "Ape Planet" or "The Alien Movie"or something like that and you could rent them. Of course they were all bootleg copies of copies, not that anyone cared all that much in them days.

Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit- So at summer camp in the early 80's we had movie nights at the pavilion. They only had like five movies: Bed knobs and Broomsticks, Pete's Dragon, The Wizard of Oz, The Cat from Outer Space.....and the cartoon The Hobbit. So, of course, they just showed them over and over and over again. Once I knew "The Hobbit" was a book, it was an easy find for ten cents at the flea market, and the LotR was soon to follow.

Anime- RoboTech, Channel 67 showed RoboTech, the first time I saw anything "close" to anime. But transforming mecha check, and the "cartoons made more for teens" check. And right at the same time, was Voltron too. And if you count Ninja Turtles as anime too.

Japanese Animation- Star Blazers. Channel 67 showed this one in the morning, so I watched it before school. Even as a kid, I sure noticed that this show had way different animation then other shows. Then it was not too much longer after that when I saw G-Force. On Channel 67 afternoons.

Japanese Sci Fi- Ultraman(I have no idea what one) but again, Channel 67 played them. The show sure was unique.


Star Wars
Earth sea
Magic The Gathering
Marvel/ D.C

D&D - Some of my classmates got me to join their AD&D 2e game in 7th grade (when I was 12 or 13) circa 1993. With a short break around the time I moved countries at the beginning of the century, I've been playing D&D ever since.

Star Wars - Sometime in the 80s. I was born in 1981, so I was too young to see any of the OT in the theater, but I got to see them plenty on VHS. The Phantom Menace was my first experience getting to see a new SW film in the theater - and what a letdown that was! Nevertheless, SW is probably my favorite geeky thing outside of D&D. I'm really loving The Bad Batch and am very much looking forward to S3 of The Mandalorian.

Earthsea - I know it's a series of fantasy books but that's about it.

Harry Potter - I deliberately avoided the HP books in the 90s. Didn't read the books or watch the movies until my children wanted to in the past decade or so. I've been less than enthusiastic about HP-related stuff of late.

Magic the Gathering - I know what it is, and while I have bought all three MtG D&D crossover books, I have never played the card game and have no desire to do so.

Marvel / DC - I read the odd comic / watched the odd movie (e.g. the Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies and the older X-Men movies) as a youngster, but I didn't "get into" the MCU until we subscribed to Disney+. I think the only recent DC movie I've seen is Shazam!

Other big-name geek stuff that I may have left out.
Star Trek - I got into ST around the same time as D&D if not a little earlier. I got hooked in with TNG. Watched DS9 and Voyager but haven't watched any ST TV series since TNG ended. (Tried watching the original series but found it too comically dated for my tastes so gave up partway through.) I have watched all the movies, though. As much as I like ST, I think I prefer SW these days.

Middle Earth - I would have been introduced to the books as a child in the 80s. I remember liking the old Hobbit and Lord of the Rings cartoons. I read the Silmarillion a long time ago. I enjoyed Peter Jackson's films, including the Hobbit trilogy. I haven't watched the recent show (and am not sure I want to given the reviews).

Game of Thrones - A friend got me into watching the show after S1 had finished but before S2 had started. Watched through to the disappointing ending. I mostly enjoyed S1 of House of the Dragon. I have not read any of the books and have no intention of doing so (since it's unlikely GRRM will ever finish the series).

Foundation - I love the original trilogy. The later books are rubbish. I have no intention of watching the show.

Dragon Age - I love, love, love the world of Thedas. I've played (and enjoyed) all three PC games and am optimistic about the upcoming fourth one. I've also watched the Netflix cartoon series and enjoyed that. I haven't read any of the novels. I own the original three TTRPG box sets but haven't gotten to play the game ever.

Video Games - I started gaming with an original NES back in the 80s. I currently have an old N64 and a second-hand Wii. Haven't moved on to the Switch and don't really want to as the few times I've tried it, the games have been too flashy and visually overstimulating. Never got into any of the other consoles (e.g. Xbox, Playstation, etc), as I prefer playing on a PC. I also prefer single player over multiplayer.
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Star Wars
Earth sea
Magic The Gathering
Marvel/ D.C
D&D '79
Star Wars '78?
Earth Sea, such as the novels by Ursula K Le Guin? I don't know, my first intro to her was the pbs movie "The Lathe of Heaven"
H.Potter not until my kids.
MtG soon after it was out, never played it much though.
Marvel/DC Weird War Tales was my favorite.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
D&D - 1980 or '81, at summer camp.

Star Wars - 1971, in the theater.

Earthsea - A Wizard of Earthsea was the very first fantasy book I read. I read a lot of SF, but this was loaned to me at camp by DH, whom I met back up again with at Jr. High. Was likely the year (or two) before D&D, but I can't remember more precisely.

Wheel of Time - picked up The Eye of the World with a voucher I got for doing some experiment at my university bookstore. Want to say 1990, could have been 1991. It was softcover, I think the hardcover came later when it sold well.

Magic: The Gathering - I missed Beta, but several of my friends who got into it not too far before me didn't, so I think 1993 or 1994.

Marvel/DC - No idea. I read some comics, but collected none. I had friends who were big collectors and liked hearing them talk about it. My first consistent was likely Saturday morning cartoons and after school cartoon, but no idea when. Like, everyone knows Batman as part of the human shared consciousness, just like everyone half-knows the words to Bohemian Rhapsody even if you can't pinpoint where you've ever heard it before. Amusingly I've been into superhero RPGs, starting with Champions 2nd so that was likely 1982 since it wasn't right before 3rd ed, I had time on limited allowance to purchase several of the books.

Star Wars
Earth sea
Magic The Gathering
Marvel/ D.C
D&D: 1999, pretty sure. Via CRPGs. I didn't actually get introduced to proper tabletop play until just after 3.5e came out.

Star Wars: Can't say for sure. Early in my life. My parents are both fans. Probably early 90s.

Earthsea: Never. I've heard about the books, never actually read them or even summaries of them. I'm better-read on Le Guin's other work (and even there I'm not that well-read: The Left Hand of Darkness is the only full book of hers I've read.)

Harry Potter: Whatever year the first book was published. My elementary school teacher at the time read it to us during daily reading time.

MtG: Properly speaking, never, as I have never truly played. However, someone did try to teach me the basics sometime between 2000 and 2002. I only know it from reading about it, which I've done a fair amount of, and briefly playing a simplified digital version against a friend who knew it way better than me and thus always beat me. (They had an incredibly annoying Green deck that spammed "Priest of Titania," I distinctly remember the voiceover calling out the card's name.)

Marvel/DC: Unsure about Marvel, probably mid to late 90s. DC was early 90s, I grew up watching Batman: the Animated Series.


I used to beat up Moses for his lunch money in the fourth grade... :D

I'm an OG, son... :cool:

The Atari 2600 was my second gaming system, lol...

The first one was some generic thing that had paddle controllers hardwired into the box, and it only played four different versions of Pong. :p

Did it have a gun attachment too in addition to pong?


Staff member
Home video game systems?

I started with a Pong set as soon as they hit stores, and we got the extra paddles so we could play doubles.

From there, I got an Atari 2600, again, pretty early on. We bought a lot of cartridges, mostly Atari, but also Intellivision and a couple others,

For along time, we didn’t buy another console. The only games we bought were for our computers (Apple IIe, IIsi, and assorted Macs) until the Wii dropped,

D&D - In 1989, a friend of mine came round to my house with D&D's Basic rulebook.

Star Wars - mid-1980's, the school I was at put one of them on (via projector screen) in the school hall for either an end of term or end of the year day. They were keeping us busy until it was time for us to go essentialy, needless to say I only saw the movies in their entirety by 1990-1991 when I hired out them from a video shop.

Earth sea - heard the name, never explored :(

H.Potter - marathon streamed them all with my wife a few years ago

Magic The Gathering - while at varsity in 1996, I learned about Magic and Vtes (Jyhad later renamed Vampire the Eternal Struggle). I collected and played the latter, preferring its political and multi-player feature more. Also younger persons seemed to play Magic where as the older crowd drifted towards Vtes, at least where I lived.

Marvel/ D.C - One of my mother's friends owned like a mini-market and they got rid of the comic stand sometime in the late 80's, and I ended up with a single Green Lantern comic I forget the exact issue number but it was Silver Age somewhere in the #170-190 range. Anyways, I fell in love with the character Hal Jordan. It featured Carol Ferris and Goldface. That began my love-affair with GL.
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D&D - I'm pretty sure I was aware of the cartoon as a little kid, yet didn't actively watch it (mid-1980s). Picked up my first D&D books (Fiend Folio and 1E PHB) from a yard sale somewhat later (late 1980s), loved the Folio but largely ignored the PHB. Didn't play or actually become invested in the game until 1995, in late middle school/early high school.

Star Wars - Aware of it as far back as I can remember. I have fragmentary memories of seeing Return of the Jedi in theaters, when I would have been a toddler. Had the toys growing up and watched the cartoons (Ewoks and Droids).

Earthsea - I probably first became aware of it at my bookstore job in college (early 2000s), but I've never looked into it beyond the superficials.

Harry Potter - Peripherally aware of it once it became popular in the late 1990s, couldn't ignore it by the early 2000s (my bookstore did release events for each new book). Watched the films but never read the books.

Magic: The Gathering - Became aware of it by the same time I got into D&D (1995) and knew people who played it, but never got into it myself. Honestly, I found the rules intimidating. (Spellfire was more my jam.)

Marvel/DC - Aware of both as far back as I can remember. Some of my earliest comic books in the 1980s were Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and especially Hulk. Have liked both universes ever since.


Assorted others mentioned after the OP:

Stargate - Watched the original film when it was new and liked it, caught SG-1 in reruns and liked it more.

Star Trek - Aware of it as far back as I can remember, helped by both parents being fans. Might have seen the third film in theaters, definitely saw the fourth. TNG was "my" Trek, though, watched it from the beginning.

Battlestar Galactica - Peripherally aware of the original show but never into it (was before my time). Paid more attention to the gritty reboot in the 2000s.

Doctor Who - Caught it in PBS reruns in the mid-1980s, was a huge deal with me as a kid. The earliest story I can recall watching was The Five Doctors, but definitely watched the other Doctors, with Three and especially Four being tops. Seven was the first Doctor I watched "new".

Narnia - Read the first three books as a kid (late 1980s). Lost interest after that.

Lord of the Rings - Watched the cartoon adaptations as a kid, was peripherally aware after that. The Jackson films made me appreciate it more. Been meaning to read the actual books ever since, but haven't yet.

Dune - Watched the Lynch film as a kid (1980s), was probably too weird for me. Impression hasn't changed much. (My dad liked the books.)

Conan the Barbarian - Watched the Arnold films in the 1980s. Liked the cartoon (Conan the Adventurer) in the early-mid-1990s. Read some of the short stories as an adult.

Kolchak - Might have watched a few episodes in reruns as a teen in the 1990s. Definitely seen a few as an adult. Something I'd like to watch more of, honestly.

Space: 1999 - Only aware of it secondhand (particularly through clips in some documentary on SF TV from the 1990s), never watched the show proper.

Game of Thrones - The only full episode of the TV show I watched was one near the end my parents wanted to watch. Otherwise only know it secondhand. Definitely know people who like it, of course...

Anime generally - Earliest I watched was Voltron, in the 1980s. First I really liked was Ronin Warriors, in the mid-1990s. Didn't start to appreciate anime more broadly until Toonami and Adult Swim, late 1990s Cartoon Network.

Video games generally - Definitely played the rare arcade game in the 1980s. A highlight of my visits to my cousins in the mid-late-1980s was getting to play on their game consoles (NES, Sega Genesis). Didn't get my own console until a secondhand Atari 2600 in the late 1980s, then my own NES by the end of the decade.


Likewise catching up on a few I didn't mention previously.

Doctor Who was always around as I was growing up. I have memories of literally hiding behind the sofa watching it on BBC during the Tom Baker era. After it was cancelled I kept up with it reading the New Adventures novels published by Virgin, and later the BBC novels (I still have some in a cardboard box at the back of a cupboard somewhere). I've enjoyed and watched all of the modern series up until the Chibnall era, which lost some of my interest. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Stargate - watched the original movie at the cinema, thought it was good fun. Watched the TV series as they became available in the UK and really enjoyed SG1 and Atlantis. SG1 in particular does some really good work with building and progressing the universe as it goes. Wasn't so keen on Stargate Universe and stopped watching before it was cancelled.

Computers / Video games - I remember our parents had a computer called a Video Genie when we were very young. We'd buy Computer & Videogames magazine, which gave away free games - not on disc, oh no, not even on cassette, no they printed out the code on a dozen or so pages for you to type in at home. We managed to get a few of those running, mostly clones of Space Invaders type arcade games.

After that, I owned a Commodore Vic-20 (later replaced by a Commodore 64) and my brother had a ZX Spectrum. Played plenty of games on those, Manic Miner was a favourite though I don't think we ever finished it.

Around college age I had an Atari ST, which had some great games at the time. Elite II, Carrier Command, Starglider II. Got my first actual PC a few years later, when "multimedia PC" was a selling point because having a CD drive and a decent sound card were still a bit of a novelty. Earliest games on that were Magic Carpet and X-Wing, running on DOS because Windows was still an up-and-coming interface.

I remained a PC gamer for a long time, never really looked at consoles, until around 2018 when I finally bought a PS4 having become intrigued by this robot-dinosaurs game I'd seen footage of. Really enjoyed Horizon Zero Dawn, and the PS4, and subsequently PS5, have since become my primary gaming machines, though I do still play some games on PC.


I do not really remember going to Star Wars in 77' since I was only 4 at the time. My father tells the story of my brother and I sitting dumbfounded from the opening credits staring at the screen. He said it was the easiest time at the movies- nobody needed to go to the bathroom or wanted a drink or popcorn. We just sat there, fascinated. That fall, we wore blackface for Halloween as we were jawas and my mother even sewed us matching cloaks to match the laser guns my father made from wood.

My first exposure with Lord of the Rings was the cartoon movie which I thought was great at the time. "Where there is a whip, there is a way." I Even tried reading the books in the mid 80s sometime, but stumbled with all the names and prose. I do like the Jackson movies the best though.

Sometime around 83ish my father had a couple work people over to play D&D. One of the friends was the DM and the other was a powerful NPC that we could have had aid us if we touched the statue and freed him. I remember being in the room and searching around, but the DM was all "Do you touch the statue!" and one of us kids was all, "No, don't touch anything, its a trap." We all died in a TPK, but my dad bought the basic box and we started a new campaign the next week.

I had a paper-route in the 80s from about 5th grade to 10th grade where the store with the papers also sold comics. I would read and collect some of them when getting the papers in the morning. I still have a few boxes of the comics which my son seems to have taken over and was reading/sorting them. He has not told me about anything worth money enough to send him to college. I was always a Marvel over DC fan, and the movies are the same.

After HS when I was in the Army back in 92-93 I found Magic in the local gaming store near the base. I would go to the store to buy the Dragon and Dungeon magazines and eventually got into a local club affiliated with one of the smaller colleges in the town. Someone there showed me the game and I brought it home to the old group. We played Magic a lot and swapped between D&D until about 3e came out. I sold some of the old cards a few years ago, but never had a black lotus or anything.


I'm just a demi-lurker, but I'll give it a go...

D&D - 1981 (Purple box basic set)
Star Wars - 1977
Earth sea - Still have never read to this day.
H.Potter - 1999
Magic The Gathering - Whenever it first came out, but naturally I didn't try it until after all the black-border cards had been sold out. Got out of it after the "Legends" expansion.
Marvel/ D.C - Superman and Spider-Man are so ubiquitous I can't remember a time when I didn't have something with their logo on it. I didn't start collecting comics till the mid-80's though when I seriously got into X-Men and collecting back-issues of Moon Knight* and Micronauts**

Bonus Round:

Star Trek: I'd seen re-runs with Kirk earlier, but it wasn't until TNG aired that I really got into it.
Galactica: I watched the original; I still love the intro theme sequence. I was never that big into it, though. I also watched the 2000's series... which we'll just say I liked the first half better than the second.
Dr. Who: I remember watching re-runs with Tom Baker in the 80's, but I didn't give it a serious go until the Eccleston series in the 2000's.

* I felt like the only kid who'd ever heard of the character. Imagine my recent delight when they made the D+ show! I had waited a lifetime!
** I had some of the toys, so traded an issue of Fantastic Four for three Micronaut comics. The original run is a pretty cool sci-fi saga, but the licensing rights are so mucked up we'll never see a proper adaptation. Guardians of the Galaxy + a dash of the upcoming Quantumania will probably be the closest I get :p

So, what year were you introduced to the big following things:

Heard about in 1979, first played around 1982.
Star Wars
Later. Probably in the 90s.
Marvel/ D.C
Early 70s, probably the Spiderman cartoon with the theme song.
Other big-name geek stuff that I may have left out.
Star Trek: Early 70s.
Doctor Who: Earliest datable episodes I remember are from 1972.
Lord of the Rings: heard about in the early 70s, read in the early 80s.
Space 1999: 1975
Blake's 7: 1978

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