What was once more commonly seen as played with objects like pencils and paper has been practically replaced by square emojis and a score out of six.
The web-based word puzzle Wordle, created by Josh Wardle, has completely taken the internet by storm. The game was created in October 2021, and with only 90 players at the start of November, popularity has continued to increase, landing the number of daily players now in the millions. Chances are that if you open anything from Twitter to Instagram, you are bound to see a Wordle score at some point within scrolling.
Updated daily at 12:00 a.m. local time, the object of the game is to guess the five letter word in six or less attempts. Upon guessing valid words, tiles change color to indicate whether or not the letter is present in the correct word. If a tile turns green, it is in the final word and the right spot. If a tile turns yellow, it’s in the word but not in the spot that was chosen. Finally, if a tile turns gray, it’s not in the word at all. The game is both challenging and addicting to say the least.
When completed, Wordle presents the option to share your score on apps such as iMessage and various social medias. Wordle scores have flooded Twitter, along with various “not a Wordle but” memes. It’s also certainly fun to be able to exchange and compare scores with friends.
The game has gotten so big that The New York Times decided to step in. On Monday, The New York Times announced that they purchased Wordle, stating that it “reflects the growing importance of games, like crosswords and Spelling Bee, in the company’s quest to increase digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025.”
Since the purchase, users have expressed discontent about the possibility of the game being blocked by The New York Times’ paywall. In a statement posted on Twitter, creator Wardle said that “When the game moves to the NYT site, it will be free to play for everyone, and I am working with them to make sure your wins and streaks will be preserved.”
For now, the game stands as an exciting, easy way to keep your mind active on a daily basis. It’s a way to connect with others, exchanging scores and participating in the same event. In fact, the game has had such a profound impact that it’s one of the few things that you can be fairly certain will not be spoiled.
While continuing to watch familiarity go digital, there is no harm in enjoying it. Offering word puzzles online increases access for many users, offering a global perspective to the challenge. Participating in the daily Wordle is fun and rewarding, allowing for vocabulary to be strengthened alongside connections to be built.
Lauren Patterson is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Lauren? Tweet her @lpaatt.