Some words on Wordle
Not since HQ Trivia has there been a social game sweeping the social world like this
You’ve seen the strange multicolored boxes in your text chats and feeds. And maybe you have a friend who insists on sending you their score each day. But if you haven’t played Wordle yet, you may not get it.
Wordle is a very lightweight web app that has an extremely simple daily challenge: guess the word. Similar to Wheel of Fortune or Hangman (which yes, is a problematic game in itself), you get to choose from a narrowing focus of alphabetic letters and only get so many attempts before you lose.
But unlike other word-based thinking games, Wordle is genius in that it’s rooted in social media. There’s one new word a day. It’s simple to win or lose. Your results are highly shareable without giving away the answer. And upon completion (winning or losing), the game gives you a cut/pasteable score that just begs you to share it with someone.
Not since HQ Trivia has there been a social game sweeping the social world like this. It’s pandemic friendly, not ad-supported, and has great social hooks. And yes, someone tried to rip them off and there’s a trademark dispute. And yes, brands are getting into it. Here’s a fun Twitter thread on the philosophy of games and how Wordle fits.
I’ve been working in an office setting lately (again, more on that soon), and the ‘watercooler talk’ about Wordle easily consumes multiple rounds of conversation each day: how did you do? what’s your go-to first word? what’s your streak?
In fact, I’ve started an IRL Wordle on a marker board for my officemates – because taking a social media phenomenon and bringing it offline and then taking a photo to share online is the most Greg-thing I can think of.
I have to say that it’s pretty exciting that the world is playing a game that tests our collective intellect and makes us feel smart when we win (even if it makes us feel dumb when we lose). That’s what games are all about. And there are roughly 9,000 five-letter words, so I don’t think we’ll run out of words anytime soon. Play here, and let me know your score! -Greg
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