For Mark it all began with family. From epic Monopoly, Broadside, & The Game of Life sessions with his father, to card games of bridge and poker with his mother and grandparents, by the age of seven he was in love with games. And then Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars changed the world for him, and a love of science fiction & fantasy was born. By third grade he had read the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy (mostly in bed at night under the covers with a flashlight when he was supposed to be sleeping), and his fate was forever sealed. He often bemoaned the fact that he never got a BigTrack from Santa, nor did he own an Atari 2600 like the cool kids down the street.
His first foray into Dungeons & Dragons went poorly, as a killer Dungeon Master with a bone to pick took advantage of the fact that wizards start off with very few hit points at first level, and he fell victim to a hidden die roll and the cackling announcement, “You trip. You fall. You die.” Needless to say, in his first role playing game, “vēnī, vīdī, vīcī” it was not. But his fascination with this new style of game was born, and his next character was a paladin. (You don’t die from tripping if you are wearing plate armor!) In high school he would often play Risk and Axis & Allies after school, developing a fondness for strategy games. His claims to fame are an unbeatable strategy in Stratego, a brutal efficiency in Shogun, and the fact that in more than twenty times playing Dominion he has never even come close to winning once. (That takes talent of another sort.)
Starting college, he would often be found in the dorm lounge playing Hearts and Cutthroat until 4am. He also played The Assassination game with people in his dorm, which once ended poorly when he ambushed a security guard coming out of the elevator at 1am with a squirt gun. Times being different than they are today, he was let off with a stern warning and a request for a towel following his abject apology and explanation. A love of theatre and women took his role-playing to new heights in his later college years, and he graduated with a B.A. in Theatre. He followed that with an MFA in Theatrical Lighting & Sound Design, and often while waiting for cues during tech, he would play Magic: The Gathering with the others in the lighting booth. Card games, board games, computer games- you name it—he loves them. He doesn’t much care for head games, but that’s another bio for another website.