Well, my introduction/addiction/induction into the game was twofold.
First, I began playing in leagues
(the accent here is disgusted) on literati sometime in 2003. My username, depending on league, was something like max300paranoia, or mokona(somethingoranothergoeshere), or... something, :/. Anyways, that's when I was a struggling, socially-inept 15 year old runt (well, okay, I was actually far from a runt at 200-something pounds), so most of my activities were limited to going to school, coming home, doing homework, fighting with my sister over the computer, and using said computer to use the internet.
A little bit later (not too much later, mind you), my obsession with this type of word game became so great that I began playing Scrabble Brand Crossword Game with my Psychologist in our individual therapy sessions. She whomped me at first...
but, the more I played on literati, the more words and skill I accrued.
Of course, I had no idea that there was a "National Scrabble Association." How did I find club and tourney play? My Psychologist recommended to me that, if I wanted to play more scrabble, that I should find somewhere to play in town.
And that's how I found the Fresno Scrabble Club, the NSA, and all of that jazz. You should've seen my eyes sparkling with excitement at the next therapy session.
My mother and I contacted the club director to see if it was okay for someone with my social ineptitudes (I'm an Asperger's Syndrome patient... plus, I was 15
) to join the club, and he agreed. I went to my first club session on December 23, 2004, where I got creamed by people like Lewis Martinez, Bruce (~1600), and Elaine(~1000). I was probably, at best, an 800-1000 player at that point, and my little over the board experience would mean that I would get creamed both here and
at my first tournament the following March, where I received an initial rating of 646.
And that was the beginning!