Word games have been the rage since they were invented. Simple games which require minimal effort to win became a daily requirement during the pandemic due to which Online Ludo was all the rage in May 2020.
ok i’ll bite. wtf is a wordle
— nyeloq (@bluefaceniloc) February 18, 2022
Scrabble has definitely been the king of word games but Wordle, a game based on similar strategies and rules, has definitely been giving it some strong competition. Initially, Wordle was an underground game that only a couple of people participated in and then it blew up overnight to the point of over 2 million people engaging in it on a daily basis.
What Is Wordle And How Did It Come Into Being?
The game was created by a software engineer named Josh Wardle for his girlfriend who loves puzzle-based word games. He created a guessing game based on the concept of Scrabble and named it Wordle, a title based on a play of letters on his own last name. They would engage in the game on their sofa every evening and were oftentimes joined by their acquaintances.
Not wordle. Just the old school ₹10 dairy milk.
— Akshay G (@akshaygajria) January 31, 2022
As the popularity of the game increased amongst Mr. Wardle’s family and friends, he decided to release it in the public realm in October, 2021. Only 90 people played the game on the 1st of November, 2021. Around two months later, in January 2022, around 300, 000 people were playing the game on a daily basis.
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“I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun,” Mr. Wardle said in an interview. “It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.”
NYT really took Wordle from 10th standard vocabulary to Shashi Tharoor level in a day.
— nikhiilist 尼克乐 (@nikhiilist) February 15, 2022
The once-in-a-day game is extremely simple and has no rules at all. The game asks you to guess a five letter word everyday. The correct letters are lit up into yellow if they are in the wrong position and green if they are in the correct position. You get six chances to guess the correct word for the day. Players are limited to only one game everyday and have to wait close to 10 hours for another game after their turn is over.
“It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” Josh Wardle said. “And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.”
wordle is to omicron what 'among us' was to delta and what dalgona coffee was to alpha?
— Chirag Thakkar (@chiraghthakkar) February 2, 2022
Wordle was created by Mr. Wardle as a gift of affection for his partner, Ms. Shah during the pandemic. The popularity of the game comes about due to its extremely simple nature and the lack of flashy ads or pop ups on the site. Twitter users can be seen sharing their scores and thoughts about the wordle of the day almost every single day which has turned this individual game into a community bonding exercise.
bro I thought things might start looking up in feb but first thing in the morning wordle bik gaya
— anushka (@anushkantala) February 1, 2022
Even though Wordle now legally belongs to The New York Times, it cannot be denied that it was built from a place of extreme love, dedication and affection. Ms.Shah has often shared how she is grateful that the game was originally created for her by Mr.Wardle.
“It’s really sweet,” she said. “This is definitely how Josh shows his love.”
How The Game Has Helped Society Significantly
Being stuck in a global pandemic for almost three years is no joke. Some people have not been able to visit their families since the end of 2019 and have shared on the internet how sharing their wordle scores on their respective family group chats provides a much needed relief from the constant sense of tension that our world has been in since the beginning of 2020.
How do you play Wordle? Simple. You open the site and then immediately forget how to read
— Louisa (@LouisatheLast) February 20, 2022
“I get emails from people who say things like ‘hey, we can’t see our parents due to Covid at the moment but we share our Wordle results each day’. During this weird situation it’s a way for people to connect in a low effort, low friction way,” Mr. Wardle shared in an interview.
The game took off when a user in New Zealand tried sharing their results on Twitter by typing out a series of emojis which prompted Wordle to build a feature for sharing the scores. Wardle has also attested that the game is popular due to its simple design and purpose.
“Even though I play it every day, I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it: it makes me feel smart, and people like that,” he said.
In a surprising turn of events, the game was bought by The New York Times for a “figure in the low sevens” according to the announcement. Reportedly, The New York Times is keeping Wordle free for now for any new and existing users.
A month ago Wordle was like “spine” and “child” now it’s words that haven’t been used since the 17th century
— OH BROTHER!! (they•he) (@leoxeloo) February 19, 2022
The deal seems like a win on all sides as Mr. Wardle is able to cash out on the product he create while it is still garnering hype and The New York Times is able to add another game to its pre-existing collection which its users are allowed to access with a payment of a monthly $5 subscription fee.
My favorite part of NYT buying Wordle is how they're apparently reassuring everyone they're not going to paywall it, but I wouldn't know since I can't read the article about it, because it's fucking paywalled.
— Anna Bell (@liopleurodonic) January 31, 2022
“The Times remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world,” the company statement said. “New York Times Games are a key part of that strategy.”
Well, we definitely do hope that Wordle remains free and accessible to provide relief from these difficult times even if just for a couple minutes!
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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This Post Is Tagged Under: Word games, pandemic, Online Ludo, Scrabble, Wordle, , software engineer, Josh Wardle, puzzle-based word games, guessing game, public realm, Twitter users, The New York Times, global pandemic, The Times, word of the day, NYT, wordle score, wordle streak, wordle bought, wordle thoughts