What is this game? Why has it suddenly taken the social media by a storm with its grey, green, and yellow boxes in late 2021?
Before anything more is said about the simple game, you can give it a try on your own here.
Rules of the Game
The rules to Wordle are fairly simple, in fact, the website does a fine job at explaining on its own:
In essence, you have six tries to figure out what the five-letter word of the day is, with the varying coloured tiles signalling to you if you are right or wrong:
- Green signifies you have correct letter in the right position.
- Yellow signifies you have correct letter in the wrong placement.
- Grey just means that the letter is not in the word.
That’s all to it, really. Guessing the letters.
Puzzling Popularity of Wordle
But one might question: Why is Wordle so popular?
The beauty in the game is its simplicity, and the slight challenge it presents, because just how many five-letter words are out there in the lexicon?
And there is also a competitive edge to it because everyone gets the same word every day; it’s just the matter of seeing who gets it right in the least attempts.
Surely you will get that rush of dopamine when you succeed on your first few tries and win against your fellow peers.
Personally, I chalk it up to a slight nostalgia factor.
It reminds me of childhood games I used to play like Mastermind where I had to guess the correct colour combination in order, a little of Guess Who where you had to extrapolate from the answers to your questions to find out who the mystery person is, and maybe even Scramble where you had to make do with the letter you had in your hands.
Regardless, it’s a short and simple game, like a daily tasty snack that you can’t get sick of easily because there is only one word to guess per day.
The Mind Behind Wordle
Like most web creators out there who merely invented things out of boredom, like Mark Zuckerberg who invented Facebook simply to connect with his college friends easier, the genius behind Wordle is Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Brooklyn.
Yes, you can’t even escape the wordplay from his name.
According to The New York Times, Wardle had decided to build the game website with his significant other, Palak Shah, to waste some time during the pandemic.
Quite evidently, overactive minds during boring times can lead to great and yet simple inventions.
In 2020, Mr Wardle and Ms Shah started having a keen interest in the Spelling Bee and Daily Crossword—both of which can be rather daunting with the need for a huge vocabulary—but Wardle wanted a simple game that they could enjoy.
Wordle had initially only been built for Wardle and Shah, though word eventually got out to their families on Whatsapp who grew obsessed with the game before it was eventually showcased to the world in October 2020.
On 1 Nov 2020, 90 people were playing.
Just two months later, more 300,000 people were in on the game.
And today, the word “Wordle” is trending on Google.
Truth to be told, the game has done impressively well for something that occurs once-a-day, though Wardle argues that it is the scarcity which “leaves people wanting more” and coming back time and time again.
Plus, it is quite a good way to learn new five-letter words, one day at a time, don’t you think?
I could certainly see myself going back, trying to get a word in.
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Featured Image: Wordle
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