There are two approaches to being a good date. They are both equally valid, although I think that the ideal is an alternating combination of the two. What is inexcusable, and results in a terrible date, is choosing neither.
When on a date, you need to be either interesting or interested. If you're not the sort of person who has much going on in his or her life, then you need to practice the art of active listening. You need to pick up on all of the little details mentioned by your date and ask questions about them. When he says that he used to be an exotic game collector, you need to recognize that this statement begs the question of whether he means Scrabble and Boggle or Rhinoceros and Siberian Tigers. You need to demonstrate that you're interested in what they are saying in order to make them feel comfortable with continuing to talk and express themselves. Often, people are unaware of how they present themselves. Many don't realize that their typical facial expressions when listening convey utter boredom and lack of interest even if this may not be the case. Part of being interested is making sure that your date is aware of your interest.
Alternatively, you can take the approach of being interesting in which case you seize on every question directed at you as a means of launching a conversation. Don't answer questions monosyllabically. Rather, when asked how many siblings you have, discuss your relationships with them, their personalities, which one used to hide dead bugs in your shoes, and what you think about your family size. And of course, most importantly, flip the question back on the other person. There's no excuse for not knowing as much about the other person by the end of a date as they know about you.
Having been on far too many dates with young ladies who convey neither interest nor anything of interest has driven this point home to me. Be interesting, be interested, or be single.