I should come as little surprise that my wife is perhaps the number one influence on my gaming life.
For those who do not know Julie (that's her name), she is rabidly anti-gaming. Because of her, I actually have a life outside gaming. Really! Those weeks when I send her out to Canada in the summer, I tend to have a 6/week gaming schedule (I usually took a break one night a week where I veg-out and watch TV).
I first met her in 2001 in Paris when I flew from Dublin for her brother's wedding (I introduced her brother to his wife). I really tought she was beautiful and that her accent was just great. Of course, she will deny having an accent, but the Montrealer in me knew one when I saw one. The funniest thing about this whole thing is that I jokingly told my now brother-in-law never to introduce your friends to your sister, that you might be forced to see them at Christmas for the rest of your life.
The first view I had of her was on a quai with Notre-Dame-de-Paris just slightly in the background. The view not too dissimilar to the image below.
Funny? Yes. Did it happen? Yes.
Now my sister-in-law hates us because we stole her thunder by making out on the boat (the reception was on a boat on the Seine River).
I flew back to Dublin, she returned to Montreal. We kept talking on the phone and through IM. When I returned to Canada for the Holidays, we spent two awesome weeks together. When I got back in Ireland, I told my then-boss (Dave) that I would marry that girl. Came April, she joined me in Ireland and we've been together ever since!
Twelve years, one wedding, three monsters, 2 appartments, and 4 houses later, she can still tolerate me, which is something that really amazes me! She displays great patience with me as I disappear for long evenings in the basement, writing away on my PC (though I spend a fair amount of it playing games too). Of course, I do have to pay for it by taking her out regularly, for which I have to write more and more.
She also provides me with a lot of entertainment.
NO you dirty-minded pigs, I'm not talking about THAT!
She is one of the most colorful and funny people that I know. Plus she has the good sense of knowing how to take (and make) a joke. Only I know how many different versions of my wife have made it into the writing of a number of NPCs over the years. I can only tell you one thing: it's a lot.
There you have it, the biggest influence on every aspects of my life: My wife, Julie.
Je t'aime chérie.