The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Wardle’s Wordle Wows the World

Wardles+Wordle+Wows+the+World

Jake DeSimone

Staff Writer

Seemingly out-of-the-blue, Wordle has become the focal point for word game enthusiasts across the Internet. Garnering popularity in a fad-like style, the hype surrounding the game is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, a vast majority are left confused, as many are hearing the term “Wordle” for the first time. So, what exactly is Wordle? Well, the premise for the game is simple. One five-letter word, six attempts. However, with its numerous strategies and adjustable difficulty setting, Wordle can go from a casual timekiller to a testament of skill. 

Josh Wardle, software engineer and creator of Wordle, never expected the game to blow up as it did. Initially developed to help him and his partner destress during the height of the pandemic’s lockdown, the website has had a 900,000% increase in traction in just three months. You read that right. According to Similarweb, the website has gone from an average of 5,000 monthly visits in October to over 45 million in January. In a tweet last Tuesday, Wardle expresses his bewilderment regarding the game’s newfound fame. “Since launching Wordle, I’ve been in awe of the response from everyone that has played. The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined.”

The causes for Wordle’s success are most likely due to its simplicity and shareability. The interface for the site is very user-friendly, with only two or three widgets and no adverts or sign-in process. The core of this page, however, is the 5×6 grid of 30 blank squares and keyboard beneath. While it may seem confusing at first, upon logging on to the website for the first time, users are greeted with a straightforward tutorial on how to play the game. For each word entered into the grid, three different colors can be produced for each letter. A yellow background indicates that the letter is in the word but not the right spot, whereas a gray background shows that the letter isn’t in the word at all. What helps most is a green background, as it means that the letter is both in the word and in the right spot. The site also has a setting for ‘Hard Mode’, a more challenging version of the game where players must incorporate the hints they have already received into their next guesses (i.e. can’t reuse a gray letter or a yellow letter in the same spot.) Additionally, Wordle has another feature that lets users share their board to other platforms after completing the puzzle. While some send their scores to the family group chat, others post their results online and talk about their techniques and thought processes to get the word. After amassing quite the large audience on platforms like TikTok and Twitter, users began sharing different strategies to getting the word, like starting with a word that uses common letters or using a series of words that eliminate the most letters in the alphabet.

Easygoing for some and competitive for others, Wordle is a game enjoyed by many. Although, this may not be the case for long. Recently, the New York Times purchased both the domain and rights to the game for an undisclosed amount numbering in the low seven figures. This has deterred numerous potential players as the New York Times is known for placing their games behind a paywall. In the same tweet referenced earlier, Wardle assured fans that the game would initially remain free, but did not comment on the longstanding state of the game. Some say the NYT may adopt a “daily puzzle-free, archived puzzles paid for” system, but things are looking bleak. Users can only hope for the best as they enjoy Wordle as it is now, with uncertainty on what the state of the game may look like in the near future.

Until the NYT removes the domain, you can play Wordle here, resetting every day at 12:00 AM EST.  

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Wardle’s Wordle Wows the World