Every day at approximately noon, I sit down in Reisner dining hall and open Wordle on my computer. I joined the Wordle craze late (just over two weeks ago), and ever since I have experienced the different ways in which people enjoy the game - competitively versus themselves, competitively versus others or by working together with others.
Josh Wardle, a software engineer, created the game as a prototype back in 2013 but revamped the game during the height COVID-19 pandemic for his partner. The game has skyrocketed in popularity from its release to the public in late fall 2021 to now. At the beginning of Jan. 2022, the game had approximately 1.8 million players, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There are many ways that people interact with the game. Some wake up in the morning and immediately complete the puzzle before sending their scores to their group chats. Some wait until midnight and complete the puzzle as soon as it appears. Social media has become a place to boast low Wordle scores. Others work together collaboratively instead of competing with friends and family. Wordle has brought out the competitive spirit of many players.
When you complete the daily puzzle, it pulls up a statistics screen. The statistics bar shows the player their number of wins, win streak number and percentage of wins. Each day the players get six guesses to get the word. The statistics bar shows a guess distribution graph as well that is unique to each player.
Over the past month as the game has gained traction, players have come together. Wordle has become the current united common ground of the people. Across many social media platforms, content creators are using the game to connect with other users.
Many TikTokers have taken to sharing their thought process on the previous day’s game. Others on Twitter use color coded emojis to show how the game went for them each day.
As the game continues to climb in popularity, Wardle has still managed to create a new game and maintain upkeep on the site. Though, on Jan. 31, the New York Times announced that they purchased Wordle and would be adding it to its game collection. Many people who have enjoyed the game have expressed concern of changes, as the New York Times is notorious for making people, even customers, pay for their games.
"It made me disappointed to find out that the New York Times bought Wordle,” Emily Dziennik, a Shippensburg University Student said. “I was just reading an article about how Wordle was so great because it was bringing people together over a small thing. Now, it will inevitably be behind a paywall, ruining it for most people."
Despite the concerns of many, the New York Times published an article on their website to explain that no changes will be made to the gameplay and that the game will continue to be free for players. Only time will tell.