People often ask me what I most enjoy about working in game development. For me, it's the fun of creating objects and buildings to populate an imaginary world, and then being able to run a character around in it.
When I went to college to take some courses on computer graphics, I thought that I wanted to do character animation... it sounded like a really interesting field. But, when we reached the point in our courses where we started actually doing animation, I found I had a lot more fun building the environments then building and animating characters. I find it more enjoyable to try and model believeable desk clutter then a believeable face, and would rather animate a complex machine then a complex walk cycle.
While still in college I downloaded and started playing around with a shareware editor for making Quake levels (QOOLE, the Quake Object-Oriented Level Editor). I eventually progressed to the point where I was one of a group of moderately fanatical users who helped to create and maintain the Qoole web site, a related web site called the Qoole Academy for the posting of tutorials, was a moderator of the IRC channel for Qoole, and ran chat-based tutorials. Through all this activity I eventually met Jeff "Mad Samoan" Wand, then working at Ion Storm. After seeing my work and hearing that I wanted to get into game development, and that I was residing in Toronto, he offered to get me in contact with an ex-Origin programmer he knew who'd moved back to Toronto to start his own game company - David Wu, President of Pseudo Interactive.
That introduction eventually led to me working for PI for five years and two projects. Thanks Jeff!