Newbie DM posted a small plea for the industry a while ago and made some good points. I agree that companies really need to push out material, or support 3rd party efforts, to make running games easier.
Personally, I think interactive face-to-face gaming is slowly being eroded. It seems the younger generation’s primary experience with games is through computers and video games. We are becoming more interconnected every day, but that connection is through proxies. I feel direct social interaction with people is slowly being lost, as tabletop or RPGs are becoming archaic forms of entertainment. So I implore people, start playing games in public.
Take time out to hit the local game store. Take some time to meet other people that game. Once in a while break off from your regular gaming crowd and play with some complete strangers at a shop. And more importantly, give that store some business.
Sadly I think online shopping is killing the neighborhood game store. You don’t necessarily have to make a store your exclusive source of games, but make sure to throw a little money their way when you can. Game stores are more than a business that sells goods, they also act as social hubs to meet new players and be exposed to new games.
Play in libraries or other public places. I used to play with a group of historical miniature buffs back in College Station, Texas. They were a great group of guys. Playing in the local library on a Saturday afternoon, typically we would get a few kids interested in what were doing. Lots of kids came by to see us and usually had a lot of questions. Most of them never heard of miniature wargaming.
Exposure to the hobby is important. You would be surprised how many people have no idea about gaming as a hobby, or worse, have a completely negative view of it. Show people what the hobby is all about. Play in public run events. Hit conventions. Participate in RPG day or other industry launch parties by hitting your local retailer and playing in public.
And if you get some kids that come by, take a little time out to answer their questions. Encourage kids to play board games. Get them playing hero clix or mageknight. Get them playing card games like dragon ball Z. Get them playing with other kids where they are actually sitting across the table facing another person having fun.
Show younger kids there is this entire hobby that World of Warcraft came from. Tell them about role playing games. Get them interested in playing with people directly, not simply through a voice box and virtual avatar. They are the future of this hobby. Show them.
Get out and game.