Wordle: A simple game that draws everyone in

Claire Yates, Contributing Writer

Wordle, an online word game created by Josh Wardle last fall, has become a part of many people’s everyday routine. The game became such a hot topic that The New York Times bought it for a seven-figure sum.

Wardle created the game for him and his partner to play together. The game draws its daily answer from a limited set of about 2,300 of the over 12,000 five-letter English words. 

“I just dumped every five-letter word in the English language from whatever dictionary I found online,” Wardle said in an interview for a National World article. “So there were some very obscure words in the English language that I have never heard of.”

The game ended up becoming too overwhelming for Wardle, so he was “thrilled” about The New York Times’ takeover. Many people have a new craving for the daily game. 

Quinn Conrath, a sophomore majoring in musical theater, wakes up, checks his phone notifications, and opens Wordle before he gets out of bed. 

Conrath always starts with the word “about,” and if there are no letters, he goes to “infer,” to check what vowels the word has. 

“I try to make sure I get the vowels in the right place and go from there,” Conrath said. “I haven’t lost a single one yet, so I think it’s working.”

Conrath’s tactics for Wordle align with other tips The New York Times gave in “The Best Wordle Tips and Tricks,” which also included methods like “going back to basics” and using a pencil and pen first or picking “two very different words for the first two lines.” 

Wordle is something that Conrath looks forward to every day. In fact, Conrath said he thinks it has helped his vocabulary. 

“I have encountered some strange words on Wordle,” Conrath said. 

While Wordle has been entertaining for many, the technical side of it is also important. Alden Barron, a sophomore majoring in management information sciences, said online game development has become easier over time.

“Thanks to websites like YouTube, you can now find free tutorials for coding and game development,” Barron said. “If you have the drive, it isn’t too hard to develop your own game, and all it takes is dedication.”

Wordle was surprisingly simple to develop.

“Programming games like Wordle should be pretty straightforward, which is most likely why we’ve already seen so many different games like Wordle become so popular so soon after it was originally created,” Barron said. 

The popularity of the game has also spurred the creation of at least 16 other games like it, including one about Taylor Swift (“Taylordle”), one that uses profanity (“Lewdle”), and one that uses words that relate to LGBTQ+ culture (“Queerdle”).

Although Wordle was simple to create, the game draws people in. 

Questions? Email the culture desk at [email protected].