Wordle: the next 2048?


Clare Hong

Ann Arbor has ranked third in the country for best proficiency at Wordle.

The new word game, appropriately titled Wordle, has become the internet’s latest craze, and Pioneer High School students have not hesitated to jump on the trend.  

Wordles are short mental challenges that are a great way to start my day,” said Pioneer senior Gabe Raux. “I think that a lot of Pioneer students play Wordle because it becomes a competition between themselves and other students and family members.” 

Everyday, the website Wordle.com has a new five letter word that players must figure out in six tries or less. If the correct letter is guessed in the correct spot, the letter will turn green. If a letter is guessed correctly but is in the wrong place, it will turn yellow, and a letter that is not in the word at all it will turn grey. Once the puzzle is completed, players have the option to share their score. This led the game’s popularity to skyrocket as more and more people would share on social media. 

“I got into Wordle because (Pioneer senior) Shuyi Xu would post her score every day,” said Pioneer senior Grace Kennel. After she continued to see other students at Pioneer playing it, Kennel decided to join in too. 

Despite the fact that Wordle now has over 3 million players daily according to the New York Times, Wordle was never intended to be a worldwide game. The creator of Wordle, Josh Wardle first created the game for his girlfriend, who loved to play word games. After sharing the game with his friends and family, Wardle decided to make it public. Within three months, the game went from being played by his close family and friends, to people all over the world. 

“I think the fact that it doesn’t take that much to play the game is the reason why it’s so popular. A lot of students don’t have long attention spans, and being able to compete with your friends is always fun,” said Pioneer junior Jordan Knox. 

This is exactly what Wardle intended. “It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” Wardle said in an interview with the New York Times. “And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.”

Wordle’s popularity spiked the interest of the New York Times early on. In January, the publication announced it was purchasing the rights to Worlde from Wardle for a price in the “low seven figures.” 

It was definitely a smart move for the New York Times to buy Wordle,” said Raux. “The game’s player base is growing at a very fast rate, and the New York Times can monetize it with ads or through their subscription if they so wish.” 

There has been some discontent with the game ever since the New York Times bought Wordle, with many players claiming the words have now become harder to guess. 

“The hardest word I’ve had was ‘vivid,’ which took me all six guesses to get,” said Raux.

Unusual words or repeating letters are some aspects that can make guessing the word more difficult.

 “Unless the word has repeat letters I usually get it around the fourth or third try,” said Knox. She still believes buying Wordle was a smart choice for the New York Times. “Considering the amount of people playing, I think it was smart. So many different ages of people play it, making their target audience huge,” she said. 

Many Pioneer students take pride in their Wordle scores. In fact, according to a recent MLive article, Ann Arbor was named the third most proficient city in the country to guess the world in the fewest number of tries, with an average of 3.59 attempts. 

Players have implemented different strategies to win the game, such as always starting with a certain word like “arise”. 

“‘Mourn’ was probably the easiest word for me, mostly because my second word (when guessing) is always ‘tours,’” said Kennel.  “The hardest was probably ‘shake’ because there were so many letters that could have been filled in for ‘k’.”

Wordle players are not the only people to have noticed the games spiking popularity. Since Wordle’s fame, many new similar games have become popular as well. Games like Quordle have players try to solve four Wordles at the same time, and Sweardle has the same structure as regular Wordle but with only swear words. “When I saw my friends playing Wordle, we started to play it together, along with Worlde parodies like Taylorlde and Wizarding Wordle, which is a Harry Potter Wordle,” said Knox. 

The Wordle trend has spiked many people’s interest, and Pioneer students think that this game is here to stay. “Like other popular games, I think the popularity might fade, but being able to only play it once a day might make it retain some of its popularity. I think that it may continue to be a habit for many people or become something similarly as popular as 2048,” said Knox. 

Pioneer students plan on continuing their Wordle streaks. “I really enjoy playing Wordle,” said Kennel. “It makes me think and actually use my brain instead of mindlessly playing games. It’s fun to compete with friends to see who can get it faster.”