I'm not a typical gamer, I suppose, but I have a lot of love for more dorky gamers who spend exponential amounts of time on games. While I often don't have any real time to invest in gaming and instead just waste hundreds of dollars on games I'll never play. Here are three steps to really become part of the huge industry that gaming is that I personally believe will take over the movie/tv industry one day because it can not only tells stories...but tell interactive ones.
Regardless, gaming is becoming less and less niche and more and more part of the cultural norm and in that spirit...
1) Find a Videogame Industry Site that you like
The biggest in terms of comerriciality I think is IGN. Others are gamestop and game radar and many others. The point is to find a site that gives you the headlines you like, that has the interface that you find easiest to work with based on your interests. You have to have some way of sifting through the many AAA games (that is basically big budget games like Bioshock or Call of Duty) as well as the indie games (some of these are actually amazing) that constantly arrive. It's also nice and often funny to see how the "gaming community" reacts to different industry news. Often they're mad and ungrateful and always making fun of game desigers and studios like Electronic Arts for any number of reasons. You'll want to learn the big studios: Bethesda, Ubisoft, Bioware, Blizzard, and others since they put out the majority of games and if you love a particular game chances are that studio put out dozens of very similar titles.
2) Try All of the Franchises
You'll never know until you try though you may be limited by what you can afford.
HALO-BEST OF XBOX
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA-BEST OF NINTENDO
SUPER MARIO TITLES
THE ELDER SCROLLS-BEST OVERALL GAME FRANCHISE
KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC
GEARS OF WAR
UNCHARTED--BEST OF PLAYSTATION
3) Embrace The Shift To Mobile Gaming
Videogames are making a big shift to being available on one's phone and iPad. Many are griping about this, but I forsee a large chunk of gaming being mobile only in the near future. This is what will make gaming truly mainstream as non gamers will be willing to play great games so long as they don't have to do anything to nerdy as play a console. If you're new to gaming, you might as well get ahead of things and play on your iPad and phone.