The world’s obsession with Wordle


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Lindsey Davis

Wordle on the street is, this word game is taking the world by storm.

I only started playing Wordle a couple of weeks ago. I admit, I’m late to the trend. I saw the memes and the Tweets, but I didn’t see the hype.

My mom and I love playing the iMessage game Anagrams together. Not to brag or anything, but I almost always win. Mom, if you’re reading this, you know it’s true.

One day, we were playing Anagrams and I sent her a text saying, “There’s this new thing called Wordle, and I have no idea how it works, but I think we should play it.”

To my surprise, she replied, “I play it every day!”

Another thing I can admit: my mom is far more Twitter-savvy than I am. Mom, if you’re still reading this, I hope that makes up for what I said before.

Now, we play Wordle together every night at midnight and race to see who can finish it first.

For those who don’t know what Wordle is, I’ll do my best to explain it from its creation to how it’s played.

Wordle was created by software engineer Josh Wardle for his partner who loves word games. Initially, it was played by just the two of them.

After the game went viral on Twitter, it was further developed by Wardle and PreoNus Games, and then published by The New York Times Company.

According to The New York Times, over 300,000 people played within the first two months of its release.

Wordle is a grid that is five squares horizontally and six squares vertically. This means that the word has five letters in it, and you have six attempts to guess it. The word is the same for everyone and changes each day, which keeps players coming back for more fun (or frustration, depending.)

When you make a guess, each letter that you input will either turn gray, yellow or green.

If a letter turns gray, it means it is not in the word. If it turns yellow, it’s in the word, but it’s not in the right place. If it turns green, it’s in the word and in the right place. This system helps to eliminate letters and let you know which ones you should use so you can correctly guess the word.

I try to avoid using gray letters at all costs so that I don’t waste a guess.

I also don’t use words with double letters like “class” or “doors” in order to get the maximum number of letters either eliminated or approved within a single guess, although it is possible for the same letter to be used twice in a Wordle.

Many people have a “go-to” word that they guess first every time, but I’m not one of them. I always guess a word with at least two vowels and has an “s” or a “c” in it such as “leash” or “place”. I do this because “a” and “e” are the most common vowels seen in English words. However, I don’t have a real reason for guessing words with an “s” or a “c.” It wasn’t a conscious choice at first. I just realized over time that I gravitate towards them and I have never missed the Wordle, so I’ve stuck with it.

Society’s obsession with Wordle stems from its scarcity effect: there is only one puzzle a day and everyone gets the same one. I’m like Cinderella when I open up Safari every night as the clock strikes midnight. It has me in an absolute chokehold.

If you can’t get your Wordle fix with one puzzle a day or just want some practice, there are other games online that are similar.

Wordle Unlimited and Infinite Wordle are the same idea as Wordle, except you can play more than one puzzle a day.

There’s also Wordle Hurdle, which has the same premise, but the word is made up of six letters instead of five.

For those who prefer math to English, there’s Nerdle. Geography aficionados might like Worldle or Globle. Trivia geeks would likely enjoy Factle. Music fanatics would probably like Heardle. And these are only a few of the tens of Wordle spin-offs.

I definitely thought that Wordle was just another fad game that would fall off the face of the Earth after a few months of Twitter users beating it with a stick. I prematurely marked its grave between Among Us and Fortnite, and I’m embarrassed. Now the headstone reads, “Here lies my pride.”