Not "Just for Nerds"
Thanks to the Internet, children and other players no longer need to find a friend at school or even someone in their hometown with whom to enjoy a game; they can easily go online and play fellow enthusiasts anywhere in the world.
Indeed, more than 100 million games are played online each year, Mr. Shenk says in his book.
Even more influential than the Internet, however, is the fact that "nerd" is no longer a term of derision. In a new era in which the richest man in the world is a lanky computer geek, technical proficiency is a point of pride, and T-shirts are sold reading, "Everyone Loves a Nerdy Girl," being a nerd no longer means being a social outcast. Nerdy things have become cool.
"The whole nerd thing has been turned on its ear," says Mr. Shenk, who believes chess is going through "an incredible resurgence on every level."