What in the World is Wordle?
If you have been on the internet for the past three months of 2022, you probably already know what Wordle is. If you haven’t heard of it, you have probably still seen it. All those green and yellow boxes you see on social media? Yeah, that’s Wordle. Today, I’ll be explaining the origins of Wordle and how to play it. I also created a survey on this and sent it to the students of ICS and some people from GCF’s YouthLIVE because I wanted to see the amount of people who play Wordle from those who responded and see what they think of it. I wanted to see why they play Wordle and if they were just playing because it's trending. I got some pretty interesting results.
What is Wordle?
Before we get into the results of the survey, let’s answer what it is. Wordle is a game that was developed by Josh Wardle (a former software engineer for Reddit) for his girlfriend who loved guessing games. After showing the game to his relatives – who quickly became hooked to the game – he decided to release it to the public in October. It then quickly grew with thousands of people playing every day. It became so popular to the point that the New York Times itself bought it. There aren’t lots of places where you can find a game online without any ads nowadays; however, that is exactly the type of game Wordle is. Mr. Wardle said in an interview with Daniel Victor of the New York Times, “I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun, it’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.”
People also started making parodies of the game like “Saltong”, the Tagalog version of Wordle. There’s also “Nerdle” in which you have to guess the correct mathematical equation. “Wordle Unlimited” is another parody for those who don’t want to wait for the next day until the next word. There’s 11-Word Wordle too, and it is exactly how it sounds like and so much more.
Jimmy Fallon has also played Wordle on the Tonight Show. News outlets have been putting out several stories on Wordle. YouTubers and TikTokers have made countless videos about it. Celebrities have gotten hooked to it too. Some people have even figured out the best starting word to use. Who would have thought that a game made for a person’s girlfriend could become this popular?
How to Play?
In Wordle, you have six tries to guess a five-letter word that changes every day. When you type a word, the boxes will have three outcomes. First, if it turns green then that means the letter is in the word and is in the correct place. Second, if it turns yellow, that means the letter is in the word but is in the incorrect place. Third, if it turns gray, it means that it is both not in the word and in the wrong place. You must keep on guessing the word until the whole thing is green.
Example: if the word I’m to guess is ‘STOVE’ imagine if I type in the word ‘POINT’. That means that the letters ‘T’ and ‘O’ will turn yellow while the others won’t (‘P’, ‘I’, ‘N’). Now that you know that ‘T’ and ‘O’ are in the word, you must think of a word that has those letters but doesn't have the other ones. You must use the clues the game gives you because it wouldn’t make sense to type a completely different word without any of the letters that turned yellow. So, now that you already know that ‘T’ and ‘O’ are in the word, maybe the next thing you’ll type is ‘STOLE’. This means that the first three and last letters would become green. If you are able to guess ‘STOVE’, then hooray for you! Go and press the share button, click copy and send it to your friends and family who play Wordle and you’ll all be able to compare. Wordle is a simple game that requires strategy. Nonetheless, it surely is a fun game that gives a bit of exercise to the brain.
What Do Fam Members of YouthLIVE and ICS Students Think Of Wordle?
Knowing that Wordle can be both a fun and engaging game, I thought it would be interesting to find out what other people thought about the game. I conducted a survey with some members of the YouthLIVE Fam and some students of ICS! I got 26 respondents and here are the results of the survey.
Out of the 26 people that answered, the majority said no, they don’t play Wordle.
Out of the 16 people who said no, 56.3% didn’t know what Wordle was/didn’t know how to play it. The other 43.7% picked the ‘other’ choice, and I got different answers. Some people had tried it but were busy with school/work, some people genuinely haven’t tried it, and some just aren’t interested in these types of games. I also asked if they think they’ll play it in the future and 13 people said yes while 3 people said no.
If the respondent said yes, they play Wordle, I asked if the respondents play it everyday. Out of the 10 people who play Wordle, only 1 person plays Wordle everyday, or as seen by this chart– 10%.
Out of the 10 people who play Wordle, 6 (60%) people can get the correct word in their third to fourth try, while 4 (40%) people get the word on their fifth to sixth try, which came as a surprise to me.
My last question was if they’d continue playing Wordle, and all said yes.
I also asked why they would continue playing. Here are a couple answers:
From Karina Ng of Grade 7 - Philippians PM Cluster,
“It helps test my vocabulary and proves to be a very entertaining game for me.”
From Michelle E (Goes to GCF, but not a student anymore),
“It's fun. It's also a quick game so I use it to take a break from work/studying. I get a little sense of accomplishment when I successfully guess the word. It can also be a topic I can use to start a conversation with a friend (e.g. ask for help, talk about the word of the day).”
From Gianna Askin (Grade 11, goes to GCF, but not ICS),
“It's a very simple game that doesn't take too much of your time. A good way to stimulate one's brain.”
From Theone Siscar of Grade 9 - Berea PM Cluster,
“It’s fun and challenging HAHAHHA”
From Yara Saavedra of Grade 7 - Philippians AM Cluster,
“It's fun to play and it helps me in my vocabulary.”
What can we learn from all of this?
Thank you once again to those who answered the survey. I will keep it open because I would love to hear more answers. (Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQ
What I learned from this survey is that though most don’t play Wordle, for those who do, it helps stimulate their brains. This was proven by a study conducted in 2019, in which adults who are over the age of 50 that play word games, such as crossword puzzles, sudoku, and number puzzles have about the same brain function to those who are about a decade younger. Though it has been proven that word games like Wordle don’t make you smarter and it doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of obtaining dementia in the older days of a person’s life, it does keep our brains healthy and keeps our brains active and working longer.
My point is, though playing Wordle doesn’t give you super brain powers or telekinesis, it does help with your brain health. Everything we have is something given to us by God– including our brains. Let’s be good stewards of what we’ve been given.
Proverbs 4:6-7 (NIV)
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Victor, D. (2022, January 4). Wordle Is a Love Story. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/technology/wordle-word-game-creator.html
Goggins, L. (2022, January 12). Why Playing the Internet’s New Favorite Game Can Help Keep Your Mind Sharp. EatingWell. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7941586/wordle-cognitive-health-research/
LaMotte, S. (2022, March 8). Wordle and your brain: Does playing make you smarter? CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/03/08/health/wordle-brain-games-wellness/index.html