Lifelong gamer here. Been playing since I first found the basic set back in 3rd grade. As a result, I've been gaming for about 30 years. Gizrond was the name of my very first D&D character.
I fell off the wagon a bit around the time 3.5 hit the peak of its wackiness. Not to turn this into a thread complaining about other systems, but I started to notice that when you asked someone to describe their character, they would give you a list of their special ability combinations and combat bonuses and what rule loophole they exploited. That only got worse with 4e. I slowly lost interest in D&D and my books began to collect dust on the shelves.
I've played too many games to list - let's just say "most of them". My favorites are D&D up to 3rd Ed, Shadowrun, Villains and Vigilantes, and D20 Modern (under the right circumstances), but I usually find something to like in almost every game I try.
A few weeks ago I picked up DCC at the game store after being drawn to the art style. It brought back all of the emotions that first red box basic set instilled in me. I found myself stopping every two or three pages and saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" I described it to a friend this way: DCC is what old school gaming should have been, not so much what it was.
I'm trying to get a group of old school gamers together for a weekly or bi-weekly game in the New Hampshire area. A friend of mine is opening a collectibles and gaming store in Raymond, NH within the next month or so, and I hope to schedule a regular DCC night there.
To add to the conversation, I too suffered through a few sessions of Aftermath back in the day. About 3 hours to make a character and about 3 minutes to get him killed. Good times.