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Wordle: The New Sensation

Previously Published May 24, 2022

Released in October 2021, Wordle is an online web game that can be accessed through Wordle is a daily letter game where the player has six tries to guess a five-letter word with no hints. Throughout the six tries, if the player guesses a word and a green box appears, then that letter is in the right place, if a yellow box appears, then the letter is in the word, but not in the right place. While each player gets six tries to guess the word, more experienced Wordle players aim to guess the word through four or even three tries. In the screenshot above, February 8, 2022’s word was guessed by Ava Yu in three tries.

Increasing from over 90 players in November 2021 to over a million in January, the popularity of Wordle has been a huge topic of discussion (Smithsonian Magazine). Thi Nguyen, a philosophy professor at the University of Utah claims that “the best thing about Wordle is the graphic design of the shareable Wordle chart. There’s a huge amount of information – and drama – packed into that little graph” (Nguyen). The “shareable Wordle chart” that Nguyen discusses is referring to the stackable emoji chart that Wordle provides after users finish guessing a word. This chart squeezes the entire gameplay into easily comparable emojis. In the image to the right, it’s observed that two Wordle players are exchanging their daily charts.


Naturally, the competitive nature of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students couldn’t resist this new game. “Every day during Spanish class I see people playing Wordle instead of VHL assignments… including me” exclaims Garv Mehdiratta (‘23). Jessie Wang (‘23) also shares her opinions on Wordle: “Every day, I wake up and automatically check the Wordle website for the newest game. It’s so much fun comparing and seeing other people’s Wordle boards”.

Originally, Wordle was a homemade game that creator Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn software engineer, made for his wife, an avid word game player. As of January 31, 2022, The New York Times has obtained rights to this game for “low seven-figures” (The Times). While the New York Times is a popular website for avid word-game players, most of their games like Crossword, and Spelling Bee have a paywall and require a subscription. This has left many Wordle players concerned over whether this free game would now require a subscription. While the future of Wordle is uncertain, for now, players should take advantage of this still-free game until more concrete details about the game’s status are released.

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Ava Yu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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