Let me start from the beginning. In Freshman year, I was a part of a small group of friends that would watch movies on Friday nights. We would often watch indie films ranging from the abstract to parody. One film we watched towards the end of the year was titled The Gamers. It was a comedy focused on a D&D campaign and the antics of the heroes on the quest. Interestingly enough, both The Gamers and its sequel The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising actually made D&D sound like a lot of fun.
Sophomore year, I joined that group of friends in playing a D&D campaign. The participants were as follows: 1 Computer Science major, 2 Aerospace Engineering majors, 1 Psychology major, and me, a Political Science/History major. It was actually a surprising amount of fun. It provided an opportunity to combine collaborative storytelling with game mechanics such as one might find in a video game. The result was an epic story that we still talk about to this day.
After completing the pre-constructed module, one of the Aerospace Engineering majors decided to create his own campaign setting, the world Iya. He did an incredible job; it is a completely fleshed out fantasy world complete with altered physical laws, intrastate conflict, and warring nation-states. I have played a Bard, a Cleric, a Scout, and a Rogue. Each of which required the creation of a full-fledged character with a backstory that could interact with those of all the other participants.
To make a long story short, our group entered D&D on a lark and discovered an incredibly fun activity for Friday nights.