Five letters that became a worldwide sensation

Five letters that became a worldwide sensation


The popular guessing game Wordle has taken the internet by storm and has us all hooked on every challenge

Five letters that became a worldwide sensation

Many of us are already addicted to the game, whereas others are ardently trying to grasp the internet’s commotion behind Wordle. It has taken over all Twitter feeds and all our Whatsapp conversations as we struggle to compete and win every day’s challenge. If you are still not up to date on this gamified literary phenomenon that has dominated the tides of internet culture, then get on board now, because it is entertaining, addictive, and quite fun in all its entirety.


Wordle is a love story

Naming it as a play on his name, Welsh engineer Josh Wardle created Wordle with a simple concept in mind – to guess the word of the day! And while simplicity reigns in the design, the backstory is not quite as plain. What many don’t know is that the game was never meant to be such a tremendous success.

The origin story is as cute as it is emotional, and it goes like this: Josh Wardle knew his partner loved to play word games, and so he went on a mission to create something effortless yet challenging that his partner could play whilst in lockdown. While this may be the cutest gift in the world, neither of them expected for Wordle to blow up as much as it did. Initially, their family group chats started playing the game and it became a cute little intimate venture that could be shared with loved ones. Soon it became a delightful obsession amidst their relatives and that is when Josh Wardle realised the game’s potential and eventually released it to the wider public. Within two months, it went from 90 daily players to more than 300,000 people, all of whom were now on the Wordle wagon, looking forward to every new word challenge, and the hype for this continued to rise from there. Soon, Twitter feeds started to become filled with people sharing their daily scores and this brought in even more people.



Every day is an exciting battle

The concept of the game is pretty simple – It invites players to guess a single five-letter word every day. The user has six tries to get it right and with each try, the game tells you whether any of your letters are in the secret word and whether they are in the correct place. At every stroke of midnight, the word resets, and every day, the populace racks their brain to figure out what the new word is. Sometimes it’s easy and you can succeed in the third try, at other times the word of the day will keep you on the edge of your seat as you are just one more try away from failing.

If it’s so simple then why is it so addictive? Well, because Wordle provides the perfect blend of wit and pure fun. It is not extremely difficult, but not too easy, hence making it viable for any age group. Not only that, but the design also includes an innovative way to share your score without spoiling the challenge for anyone else, making it all the more competitive, especially amongst friends and family. The game was originally running on a list of more than 12,000 words, but was brought down to about 2,500 common words so the content is more accessible to everybody, and will last for a few good years!


Minimalist and exceptional to its core


What truly establishes the reign of Wordle is its design. It requires no app to be downloaded and simply opens up in your browser. Moreover, the UI doesn’t even need a login; it simply matches with your IP address to save your progress and statistics, whilst also calibrating the time you will receive each daily challenge. It’s even more compelling when one thinks about how the game was built without any designers or a team of engineers but only with Mr Wardle and his partner, Palak Shah, at the helm.

The interface doesn’t ask anything of you nor does it have any hidden motives. It’s not there to collect data or show you advertisements. On the contrary, it exists for mere joy only. As the creator said, “It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.” The unique selling point also lies in the scarcity of the challenge. It’s not something you can binge on or play all day but focuses on a single challenge daily that can be completed in no time. This very flow generates something to look forward to, or even fit in one’s daily routine, just like how the crossword puzzle became a staple over morning coffee. “It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” Josh Wardle said regarding this strategy. “And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.”


It bagged more than a million

You heard that right. The New York Times publication acquired the game for more than a million US Dollars. While the exact price wasn’t disclosed, it was described in “the low seven figures.” The publication, which already has an array of games on its shelf including the likes of Crossword and Spelling Bee, also added Wordle in its collection without changing anything in particular, except removing a few words the company deemed too difficult or potentially offensive. The game has millions of daily players currently and according to the Times, it will initially remain free to new and existing players, albeit it raises concerns for it eventually going behind a paywall.

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