I played in high school & college, maybe 1979-1984? It became really difficult to find campaigns that weren’t just mindless adolescent free-for-alls.
But the long-term influence it had on my concept of gaming (playing vs. winning), appreciation of fantasy literature & world-building, etc. – HUGE
Have had an interest in D&D since picking up Baldur’s Gate in 2001, just before college. High school “D&D nerds” immediately rejected my attempt to converse with them. Once in college, started on 3rd and proceeded through 3.5e. Even did some Living Greyhawk, which was quite a bit of fun - one character tickled the regional organizers so much that they made certified items for him. Always had campaign world ideas, but never could really execute them. Switched to Pathfinder when 4th edition came along (4e was basically a tabletop MMORPG/CRPG). 5th Edition is kind of interesting, but have been dabbling with the ideas of PBTA games since finding Dungeon World and Uncharted Worlds. Still doing the world-building, but pandemic and life changes have put the idea of running/playing on hold.
I played a little bit in the early-to-mid 1980s, but not since then, when I managed a retail computer store on W 57th Street in Manhattan across from a store called the Compleat Strategist. That store closed but they still have a place on E 33rd Street.
However, I’m currently visiting my daughter for Thanksgiving. She and my SIL played for several hours tonight. Very different from the way I played: using an online service with graphic maps, voice chat and players in NC, NY, CT and elsewhere…