Wordle Craze


Neely Burns, Editor in Chief

 If you have been on the internet recently, you have likely heard of the game Wordle. Whether it be watching peers struggle at the game, seeing an array of colored squares posted on social media, or because you have played it yourself, there is no denying that word of the game has spread far and wide.

So, what is this unique game? Wordle is a daily word-based game in which players have the goal of guessing a specific five letter word in six tries. When the game is opened, players are greeted with a blank, five by six grid in which to work. To start, players are forced to guess a random five letter word. If a letter in this word is not in the word of the day, it will turn gray. If the letter is in the word but in the wrong place, it will turn yellow, and if the letter is in the correct place as well as in the word, it turns green. With these colorful clues, players continue guessing until they hopefully come up with the word in six guesses or less. 

The game was created by Josh Wardle for his partner, Palak Shah during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite most of this game being created by Josh Wardle, Palak Shah helped a great deal as well. According to New York Times, “An initial list of all of the five-letter words in the English language — about 12,000 — contained a lot of obscure words that would have been near impossible to guess… [Palak Shah] would sort through those 12,000 or so words, designating whether or not she knew them. That narrowed down the list of Wordle words to about 2,500, which should last for a few years.” Josh Wardle states his feelings on the success of Wordle, saying, “I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun… It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.” Although this game was released to the public in October of 2021, it took until 2022 for it to really take off. Part of this increase in players came due to the addition of a sharing capability in mid-December. Now when a player guesses the correct word, they are greeted with a share button and various options as to where it gets shared. The share function is especially genius because it shares the colors of each letter guessed, thus showing viewers the general trend someone may have followed to get the word without spoiling it for them.

Recently, Wordle was bought by New York Times for more than 1 million dollars, although the exact price is not yet public. Due to New York Time’s reputation, many fans are concerned that the game will lose some of its charm and/or that it will no longer remain free. At this point, all that New York Times has changed is it has removed a few of the more lewd words previously available, but no one can be sure as to whether New York Times will eventually charge players for this game.

Clearly, Wordle has made its way into the hearts and minds of its players, and, hopefully, will remain for years to come.