An idle thought about: Chess

 In Design Lesson, Uncategorized

Street corner chess
The somewhat impressionist image you see above was taken at eight in the evening on the corner of Market and Ellis St in downtown San Francisco. It depicts a group of young men sitting at tables playing chess. This image blows my mind.

To my middle-class Australian way of thinking, chess is a game played either by high school nerds or by people who were once high school nerds and are now… older. Chess competitions are for the intellectual elite and are played in schools and academies. Of course this is all mythology, I understand, but I wasn’t quite prepared to see street-wise young men hustling chess games for cash on the corner of a busy street. This has totally subverted the image of the game for me.

There’s probably a design lesson in there somewhere, but I’m not sure what it is.

PS: I was also a highschool nerd but I sucked at chess. And still do.

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