I am one of the few (maybe even the only one) that can prove I've been playing since Beta:Starwynd wrote:A bit of advice, in any game ever you are going to have precisely 100 times the number of people claim they were "totally in beta" Than the amount of people that were actually there.
On the following screenshot you can see that I have a SGE_beta setup and even though my computer is configurated in Dutch you should be able to comprehend it was last modified "wednesday 26th of Novembre 2003".
The reason the other 2 dates are much more recent is that that particular computer was highly unstable and I had to reinstall windows and recovered my data afterwards.
Of course that was the last time I played SGE in Beta so I started playing at least 1 or 2 months earlier than that.
Unless someone can prove they played earlier than that I guess I'm the answer to your question :p