I used to be avid reader when I was younger, but as I got older and moved away from books, I found myself spending time on my DS, then eventually mostly my laptop. While I did have a Gameboy when I was younger, I had one of those cartridges with like 100 or something games on it which pretty much shared one save for the entire thing, so saving in another game would overwrite any save data from another game, so when I played Pokemon and then try something else, I would lose my progress. For whatever reason, my parents' computers had an emulator and some GBA games(Pokemon is one I remember the most), but for whatever reason, the emulator and games/saves were lost, so I pretty much forgot about the emulator until my father picked up Days of Ruin on the DS I gave him(a hand-me-down), then found an emulator on the computer to play as well(he was way better than I).
I played Minecraft on my laptop for a while first before "re-finding" emulators and GBA games.
When I was younger, reading about the different worlds contained within books fascinated me. Of course, being young and imaginative, I thought it would be cool to actually get to be in some sort of fictional world(or at least experience). Several years later, I stumble upon FE12, which is the first to have a customizable player unit that participates in the story as well(or at least the first game I played that featured something of the sort).
Thus, when I somehow stumbled upon Fire Emblem hacking, I knew this would be the right pastime for me. It took me a while(perhaps too long) to acquire a decent understanding and then a true comprehension of more than just the basics. In fact, I still have many unfinished hacks sitting around(with myself and @CM9 as the protagonists) in my folders that I started years ago but then stopped due to knowledge limitations then(tilechanges, tile configuration corruption, etc.).
However, before we knew about screen-sharing, I would have @CM9 video record himself testing whatever I had sent his way and receive feedback that way.
Then during one Christmas break, I decided it would be more fun if we worked together on some hack to kill time and have some fun with hacking and Fire Emblem(we even set some rules/guidelines to prevent clashing with one another and to differentiate our work[in a sense]). We encountered some obstacles along the way(battles failing to work properly, thus forcing me to redo the entire hack up to that point), had our fair of arguments over various aspects, and made some questionable decisions(we lacked maturity then, for one, since we were younger then). But in the end, even if the hack is mostly rejected and our reputations tarnished, we still had some fun with it- insulting one another, getting revenge(in a friendly way), being a bunch of immature, foolish teenagers, etc.; we learned some as well throughout the process, developing our hacking skills.
I still hack today because I enjoy the aspect of creating alternate universes where I can work/aspire to be something more than just an average person or to live out something that I would be unable to otherwise in the real world. I have tried getting other friends to hack with me, but we have made minimal progress in the span of a year, though I may try again sometime. Plus, creating something that others can enjoy and critique can leave a sense of satisfaction and something to be proud of.