I feel like some background might be required to assure what readers I may acquire in the future of my credentials to discuss these things. To be frank, I have none.
I've loved to tell stories since I was a tiny child writing crayon stories about dragon knights. I would create vast landscapes and tell stories involving all of my toys. I would make up my own Star Wars stories out of the old toys. I used to build expansive LEGO empires, with multiple cities and spaceports, with sweeping wars and intrigue, and a plucky band of heroes.
My dad got me started gaming, playing OD&D with me when I was 8. By the time I was twelve, I played in his regular Vampire: The Masquerade game. I didn't really know the depths of it, just that I got to be a street punk vampire kid in London. He was a pickpocket, I thought it was cool. He may have been loosely based on Richie Ryan from Highlander: The Series. I don't know.
I loved being a part of that shared story experience. I loved the adventures, and I don't remember ever slogging through combat the way I do in some games these days. It was about imagining the characters and the world they lived in, the stories we were involved in. I remember tracking the Prince of Chicago to an abandoned amusement park outside the town I actually grew up in. As a kid, it thrilled me to pretend that these things could actually happen in the world I knew. As I recall, that kid smuggled himself in a shipping crate to the US. I also recall him dying a rather grim death. The next character I rolled for the game was a feral, shape-shifting Gangrel that wished he was either Wolverine or a werewolf.
I played original World of Darkness. I loved Werewolf and Mage, and I was also an avid LARPer. I just can't do that anymore. I can't even get interested in World of Darkness. The stories that I've wanted to tell as I grow up have changed. I've more a mind to write gritty shorts on alien planets, or the myths of magic-wielding gunslingers in a strange, savage Old West. And the games that I want to play have changed. I game to get a break from reality, rather than escape it. I want an interesting story, sure, but with themes that compel me as an adult.