I was the stereotypical D&D player. When I was a kid, I was exactly what you'd expect a Dungeons & Dragons player to be: overweight, unpopular, quiet, and somewhat angst-ridden. Instead of trying out for the team (whichever team you might think of) I was in my bedroom, crafting dungeon levels on quarter-inch grid paper with my handy AD&D books by my side. But, first, a little backstory.
You see, my parents were very religious. That, in and of itself, wasn't really a bad thing. I went to church every Sunday and Wednesday. I learned all the stories in the Bible, and, to be honest, the lessons I learned there have stuck with me even to today. No; the religion wasn't the problem. It was Jack T. Chick... Jack T. Chick, you meddling bastard!
For those of you who don't know, Jack T. Chick wrote a religous tract called Dark Dungeons (among others) that convinced my parents that if I played Dungeons & Dragons (or was interested in ANY fantasy stories whatsoever) that I'd either a) Kill Myself or b) Sell my soul to Satan in exchange for real wizard powers. So, I had to hide my interest in D&D. Naturally, I wasn't able to go out and buy the core rulebooks (since I was in middle-school I relied on my parents for all driving-related responsibilites) so I had to improvise. I stumbled across an old AD&D Player's Handbook (1st Edition) at my local library. So, I checked it out, took it home, and never returned it.
I know, I know. It was wrong to do so. I felt so guilty about it that I eventually put it back into the after-hours deposit drawer, but that was like ten years later (I hoped that by then any record of my possession of it would have been erased). Anyway, I loved the PHB and eventually found some friends that had the other books, which I used to craft adventures. I had a clubhouse behind my home, and every week my friends would come over and we'd play until it got dark and then we'd hush it all up to keep my parents from knowing what was going on.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I just wanted to demonstrate the lengths to which I'd go to play Dungeons & Dragons. Eventually, my parents softened up a bit, and as long as I didn't "take it too far" they conceded to letting me pursue my hobby. However, after going through all of that just to play a game I became somewhat... possessive... of Dungeons & Dragons.
This possessiveness, or selfishness, was, perhaps, one of the reasons I was reticent to endorse 4e. It was too sleek, too accessible, too... socially acceptable... to be my D&D. My D&D was supposed to be enjoyed by a select few, not ready for the masses! The only party I was ever invited to was an adventuring party, but now I have to share that with all of those people who didn't have time to notice me in middle-school? And that was a shame. I was acting like a child, and I missed out on years of roleplaying because of it. Eventually I let my guard down, gave people a chance, and, yes, even got invited to a few actual factual parties (which were enjoyable, despite my Charisma score of 3).
Now, I would encourage everyone who reads this post to play as much D&D as you can, with whomever is willing (although I don't condone doing it behind your parents' backs, if you're a minor). You'll get some valuable real-life XP out of it and you may even make some good friends in the process. Don't be the Dragon, selfishly hoarding the treasure. Be the Party, who shares it.