Great thread, I enjoyed reading about everybodys various experiances.
I'm 34, I've always been into games since being little with my Atari / C16 , I have always wanted to make games but never had a clue really and never got around to learning.
After doing various crappy jobs after I left school until I was about 27 I decided it was time to put all my effort into something I loved and try and make a go of that before going for another Job I just didn't want to do with my life.
After reading the best way to learn (without going to college etc) , I was told by most to learn something else first like PHP for web design just to get the basics for coding, so thats what I did and gave up all my time just reading and learning, things actually progressed well and within the year I actually ended up as a full time Web Developer (still am)
My hunger for making games never went away mind, and I have tried using various things from XNA to Stencyl and now I'm giving CS2 a try (by far the best once I have enjoyed using to date)
I have not completed any games yet I have a few that are like 50% finished, I'm let down a lot by my lack of graphical skills and after spending hours and hours trying to do simple graphics I have decided to give up and just buy them from other people who know what they are doing :p
I'm going to spend as much time as I can around my job and family working with CS2 to make some games and hopefully make one that people enjoy playing.
My skype is alan_neller for anybody interested.