I mostly grew up as a PC gamer—my earliest memory is of playing Mickey's 123 The Big Surprise Party game where you were organizing a surprise party for one of Mickey's friends while also learning to count. My dad bought many edutainment games that taught me how to read and solve puzzles, like the Freddi Fish and Putt-Putt series. I also played arcade games like King of Fighters, Puzzle Fighter, Metal Slug, DDR, and my all time favorite, Bishi Bashi.
My first big name RPG was Pokemon Yellow on the Gameboy and boy, was I hooked. I initially played it on a friend's Gameboy while on a trip—by the end I had to get one myself! While I enjoyed exploring Final Fantasy IV, VI and VII, time-consuming random battles really get on my nerves when they interfere with map puzzles or when attempting to quickly get from point A to B. As a result, I usually avoid playing games with heavy random battles (I am looking at you, Pokemon Black & White—young me was less discerning). Strategy RPGs are my favorite of the genre, with each move on the battlefield being crucial rather than button mashing attack to get it over with. I have a strong impulse to solve puzzles when I see them, so naturally the Professor Layton series has easily found its place among my top few.
As an avid reader, RPGs contain the storytelling and character building aspect I find most compelling in fiction while expanding to include the reader/player's interaction with and influence on the outcome of the game. I have always held a "no prior expectations" principal on anything I read or play as I find it the best way to fully experience something new. Particularly because of such a stance, I am open to playing anything and have no hesitations with disagreeing with popular opinion or praising a hidden gem.
While not being absorbed in video gaming or devouring books, I enjoy boardgaming with friends—co-op, deck building, role-playing, resource management ... you name it, I'll play it—drinking tea with my Professor Layton plushie, being woozy over cute cats, solving puzzles, practicing a foreign language, or just learning something new like a fact, a skill, anything. Oh, and Dir En Grey is the most amazing, phenomenal band ever. Please do yourself a favor and check them out.