All your questions about Wordle answered

A typical Wordle gameboard

Elli Jacobs, Arts Writer

At 12 o’clock, users log on to the New York Times. A fresh puzzle comes out, containing six rows with five spaces each. Only a five-letter word can be guessed with six tries. Once all the guesses  are used up, no more puzzles appear until the next day. If the word is not figured out, the game is over and there is no seventh try. 

The game operates in a simple fashion–users type in their five-letter word and receive feedback on whether the letters are correct or incorrect. Gray, yellow, and green signify the accuracy of the letters. If a square is gray, that particular letter is not found in the word of the day. If a square is yellow, that letter is found in the word, but is currently in the wrong place. If a square is green, that letter is in the word and is in the correct position. 

The creation of Wordle is a love story. The creator, Josh Wardle, wanted to create something to fulfill his wife’s passion for word games. He also enjoyed this hobby, so Wardle created a guessing game for both of them to play. Once they began playing, the game spread to the rest of the family and became an obsession. 

Taking this result, Wardle introduced his game to the world in October of 2021. On the first day of release, 90 people played. Two months laters, more than 300,000 people played. Since the creation of Wordle, the game has attracted millions of users from all over the world. 

On the internet, there are many different word puzzles that are open for everyone to play. Most of them do not have time limits or a set number of guesses, making them not as competitive as other puzzles. One of the most attractive qualities about Wordle is the fact that people of all ages can enjoy and play it.

“My friend started playing Wordle and eventually my whole friend group also tried it out since we were all curious about it,” sophomore Anastasia Kutselik said.

“My mom started playing Wordle and told me and my family about it so I decided to start playing it as well,” senior Mirabella Funk said. 

The Wordle puzzle does not take much time to complete, given the limits and restrictions on guessing the word. Over the past months, it has been widely publicized over many social media platforms. Users have the ability to post their scores on their social media accounts, creating competition. 

“It’s not really stressful but definitely competitive, especially when sharing your scores with friends and seeing who got the word in the least amount of tries,” Junior Yifei Yang said. 

Wordle is considered a “mind game”. Players have to use their cognitive and logical skills to figure out the five-letter word. Other mind games include sudoku, crosswords, and puzzles. These games are designed to improve cognitive skills such as memory, attention, processing speed, mental flexibility and problem solving. Some can be extremely complicated and therefore will force your brain to work. 

A psychological aspect of these mind games is the so-called social comparisons users feel when they compare their scores to others. These comparisons occur when a user discovers they are more superior than others, score-wise. They drive the user to continue playing these mind games consistently; the favorable outcome of the comparisons leave the user accomplished, smart, and motivated. 

Wordle works the same way. Users compare answers with one another, to see who completed the puzzle in fewer tries. They then continue playing everyday, to achieve a better score just like any other mind game. 

 “I try my best to get the word in the least amount of tries so I often take my time to strategize my placements,” she said. 

Just like any other game, there are users that are addicted to playing and there are users that play just for enjoyment. Wordle users are split up just the same way.  

“I don’t necessarily have a strong urge to play it everyday but I do like it because I think it can be fun,” freshman Mia Kee said.

Unlike other games, Wordle does not display any ads, flashing banners, or pop-ups, It is simply a rectangle, laying in the middle of a dark background. Wardle intended the game to be just for fun and not a place to get distracted by numerous ads.