Re:Do ordinary people play Hex?
There are no Hex sets being sold AFAIK, but you can get a vinyl rollup board from Chessex (some cutting required) and use Go stones. I had known about Hex for a long time, possibly from the "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American magazine, but didn't take much interest in it until I saw it offered on Playsite. There was a community of serious players there back then (about 4 or 5 years ago.) I've been "addicted" to Twixt since 1967, so I took to Hex. Nowadays there are lots of strong Polish players (and other nationalities) on Kurnik. I have been trying to convince the programmers at BrettSpielWelt to add it there as well. I'm sure many people would be intrigued by the beauty and depth resulting from such a simple ruleset.