Unscrambling the Wordle M-A-N-I-A

New Social Media Fad Sweeps the Nation

Unscrambling the Wordle M-A-N-I-A

Nicholas Yoo, Editor

Five-letter words have captured the minds of people all over the world from this simple word-guessing game, Wordle.

Engineered by Josh Wardle and published and owned by the New York Times, this game has become the latest fad in social media and pop culture entertainment.

Users have six attempts to try a guess a 5-letter word that refreshes each day. After each try, tiles change color to indicate how well the player is doing. A gray tile on a letter means the letter is not used in the word. Green means it is used and is in the correct spot on the word. Yellow represents that the letter is used in the word but is in a different position.

Despite this light-hearted mind game, many people have even taken a competitive route with Wordle. While some prefer/have to spend several minutes or even hours trying to figure out the word in six or fewer guesses, some professionals compete to guess the word in the least amount of tries.

This game has been especially comforting during Covid-19 where families could get together and take part in some healthy competition or friends who could not visit each other in-person could play this game virtually.

And while Wordle only allows players to play once per day, some off-brand versions not only offer unlimited attempts but also new derivations.

Nerdle (math), Worldle (geography),  and Waffle (a complex version of Wordle) have all arisen as a response to provide players with different formats of this popular game for those who may be interested in other subjects. Other countries such as France have created their own versions of Wordle like “Le Mot”. This may be useful for world language educators to inspire students to be involved in the language they are studying.

However, while this game has taken the hearts and minds of many around the w-o-r-l-d, Wordle comes back to simple beginnings as the developer created the game for his wife who loved word games. Perhaps, this is your cue to join this newfound c-r-a-z-e.