Wordle: Why so many people are obsessed with the new online game – National

It has been described as a “drug”, an “obsession” and a “love story.” Wordle, an online vocabulary game, is taking the internet by storm and has millions of people connected.

What is it?

Wordle is deceptively simple to play, but harder to solve than it seems. The once-a-day deduction game asks players to figure out a five-letter word. Players are given a maximum of six guesses to complete the word.

Once players have completed the game, successful or not, they are given a cryptic-looking block of squares that they can use to brag on social media. For the external viewer, the ability to read these squares depends on whether they have played the game themselves.

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How do you play?

It’s pretty straightforward. Players begin by entering a five-letter word in the first row of squares. When you press “enter” the game will show how many of the letters belong in the word.

A green box means the right letter is in the right place. A yellow box means that the letter is in the word but is in the wrong place. A gray box means that the letter does not appear in the word at all.

A screenshot of Wordle.

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From there, players go on a journey with deductions. If one’s logic and spelling skills are in top shape, it’s often quite easy to figure out the word in six attempts. But even the most bookish can struggle from time to time.

Game history

According to the New York Times, Wordle was designed by Brooklyn-based software engineer Josh Wardle. He created Wordle – a riff on his last name – for his pun-loving wife as a way to kill time during the pandemic.

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It became wildly popular in his family’s WhatsApp chat, and Wardle decided to make the game public in October 2021. On November 1, 90 people played. Today, the game boasts more than 2.5 million daily players.

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Word’s simplicity stands out from so many other online games – no push notifications, no flashy graphics, no sign ups, no ads. And that’s by design, Wardle says.

“By making Wordle, I specifically rejected a lot of the things you have to do for a mobile game,” he told NPR. “The rejection of some of these things has actually attracted people to the game because it feels pretty innocent and it just wants you to have fun with it.”

Players are limited to one game a day. Everyone gets the same word, receives six attempts, and when done, a countdown timer is displayed until the next day’s word is released.

In this photo illustration, the word game Wordle is displayed on a mobile phone.

Brandon Bell / Getty Images

Despite the game’s incredible popularity, Wardle told The Guardian that he has mixed feelings about the attention the game is getting.

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“It does not feel good that it is going viral, to be honest. I feel a responsibility to the players. I feel that I really owe it to them to keep things running and make sure everything works properly.”

What is the best strategy?

Like any online game, there is no shortage of tips, tricks and hacks to move the game forward.

Some people start by first trying to figure out the vowels. “Adieu” seems to be a popular choice for the first piece.

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Others take a tactic from Wheel of fortune playbook and start with a word that contains popular consonants, such as “rater” or “snoring”.

It is also important to note that letters can be duplicated in a word.

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Wardle told the New York Times that the game uses only common words in his answers and that he has removed all obscure words that would be too hard to guess.

However, he bumped into a bit of trouble from the Canadians on January 12, when the word of the day was “favor”, spelled American way. (The audacity!)

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If you need more tips and advice, there are entire Reddit and Twitter threads dedicated to strategy.

The game that launched a thousand memes

Of course, Wordle memes have become almost as popular as the game itself with everything hitting top virality these days.

There are memes to personally attack anyone who uses Wordle as a waste of time in the workplace.

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Others have used the game’s name as a fun word game.

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Others lean into the game’s ability to produce a deep amount of anxiety.

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Some even find that Wordle infects their off-line activities.

Even the Canadian government has been involved in the fun.

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If you’ve been spending some time on Twitter lately, there’s a good chance your feed is overrun with small squares.

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And you know what? It’s alright. Wordle is a welcome little distraction in these trying pandemic times.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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