By Jason Sethre
Some of you may already be addicted to Wordle.
The brainchild of Wordle, Josh Wardle, who sold his platform for $1 million to the New York Times, invented one of the biggest games of the year.
And, the New York Times made a smart move with making this acquisition. A May 4, 2022, Bloomberg article titled, “Wordle Brought ‘Tens of Millions’ of New Users to the New York Times,” pointed to the fact that the publisher gained 387,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.
For those of you unfamiliar with Wordle, it’s a game played on a smartphone or computer. Players must guess the new five letter word each day in less than six attempts.
My personal word of choice (recommended by our son) is ADIEU, because it uses so many vowels. However, there are some people I know who prefer to use FARTS as their first word. There’s a strategy in using both options. Sometimes it is a matter of luck. But, everyone only gets six attempts at guessing the word of the day.
As of this commentary, we are on day 376 of the game. I jumped onto the Wordle bandwagon about 68 days ago, and I love it. Our teenagers have played the game. My wife plays Wordle. And, for anyone who knows my wife and myself, they know that we are extremely competitive with each other.
The thing I love about Wordle is that it makes you think every day. And, in some cases, it introduces participants to new words that are not commonly used in every day language.
Did you know that there are more than 158,000 five letter words in the dictionary? According to my math, this Wordle game could go on for more than 432 years without ever using the same word twice. This game can continue in perpetuity.
What’s cool about Wordle is that it is challenging at times, and I feel like I’m learning something new along the way.
As a Scrabble board game enthusiast, this is pretty much daily training for the next family battle of wooden letters.
I commend Josh Wardle for coming up with something so simple, yet engaging and educational. He has created a sense of community that revolves around words, because everyone has to figure out the same word each day. “Did you get the Wordle today?” That’s my wife and I say to each other at the end of the day. And, then we talk about how easy or difficult it was that day.
While speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco, Wardle shared, “In fact, I don’t think of myself as a game developer at all. When you think about like viral, exciting games, you don’t think about word games, which is kind of sad to me. I love words, I love language.”
For our readers who haven’t jumped into the five letter pond yet, you can dip your toes in right here: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html