Took a ride down to New Jersey today to visit friends. I happened to stop at a urban Dunkin Donuts in Plainfield, N.J. for an ice coffee and came across a bunch of guys playing chess in the coffee shop.
Aside from one older gentlemen, everyone else looked to be 20-something and 30-something African-American men. There were two games going on, each using a set that looks like the tournament sets you can get from the US Chess Federation, similar to this:
I'm not sure if the observers were there just to kibitz or to play. One game wrapped up just before I left and the same two players were setting up for another go. It appeared to me that this was some sort of regular gathering, from the way everyone interacted. It was a nice reminder of how you don't have to be a game hobbyist to get a lot out of gaming. Earlier that day while we were visiting I notice that there was a Monopoly game set up in our friend's living room (and they are definitely not gamers).
I know that Monopoly, and even chess, are looked down on in some hobby gamer circles, but I think it's nice to see any kind of gaming going on out there. There's a lot more to the board game scene than just Settlers of Catan or Tide of Iron