I played it when I was a kid and I usually played a thief or a magic user. When I played D&D it was a table top game where I made a character on a piece of paper. To perform skills and fight I rolled different kinds of dice.
Most of the time me and my friends would be on an adventure and team up to fight monsters and dragons and get lots of gold and gems.
Later I played online role playing games like Everquest and Conan. These are a lot of fun too! What's great about this is that I could play a game with a friend in another state and chat while we played.