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Decoding the Popularity of Wordle

March 15, 2022

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Wordle has taken the attention of millions of Americans-including teens by storm. In the last four months, Wordle has gone from ninety daily players to over two million. “The developers of the game were so overwhelmed by it’s success they had to sell it to the New York Times,” according to Thebbc.com. This raises many questions, the chief one being why is Wordle so popular? Possible factors are that it provides a daily challenge for your brain, that it is a source for learning new words, and especially, that it inspires competition.
Every 24 hours Wordle generates a new and random English word. Players then have six tries to guess the word. The game tells you if you guess a letter in the word or get a letter in the right spot. This can provide an excellent way to test your intelligence. “Wordle has been incorporated into my daily routine because it warms up my brain everyday and gets me ready for school,” said sophomore Koty Ritenour, who claims to be a Wordle “superfan.”
Wordle has changed the way many people learn new words. Even teachers are using it to expand their students’ vocabulary. One such teacher is a woman whose Tik Tok username is “Miss Hunter.” She documents her students’ attempts to guess each day’s word and posts the results on Tik Tok. She is not the only teacher doing so; many other Tik Tokers are recording themselves trying to guess the word and posting it on Tik Tok. In most cases, these videos are popular on the Tik Tok app.
Learning isn’t the only way people use Wordle. It can also inspire competition. “I only play Wordle with my friends. We turn it into a game and see who can guess the word first. Most times, we bet money on who will win,” said sophomore Ethan Dahl. In fact, there is a version of Wordle for this exact use which is called Squabble. The goal is to try and guess the word before everyone else in the lobby. If you fail to do so, you lose and have to start another game.
When it comes to video games, some teens get bored very quickly, but Wordle tries its best to keep players invested. They have certain ways to entertain more hardcore gamers, one being hard mode. Hard mode only allows players to use the letters they have already guessed to try and make their next word. This mode gives players an extra challenge to try and overcome.
Wordle has a very strong structure, mainly made for English-speaking people. You might assume that Americans are the best at Wordle, but according to the New York Post, the U.S. isn’t even ranked in the top 10 nations in terms of Wordle success. Sweden is in first place with an average of 3.72 guesses while the U.S. is in 18th place with an average of 3.92 guesses. Regardless of the legitimacy of these numbers, seeing the U.S. in 18th place may be a huge reality check for Wordle-loving Americans.
In the last couple months Wordle has gained over half a million daily players. With that being said, many players are getting bored of only being able to play Wordle once a day, so some have turned to fake sites such as Wordle Unlimited to gain unlimited Wordle games. Recently, Wordle shut down the site and is encouraging any other sites like it to do the same. With Wordle lust continuing to grow, Wordle’s demands may prove hard to enforce.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Ryder Petrylak
Ryder Petrylak, Journalist

Ryder Petrylak is in 10th grade and is in his first year of Journalism. He plays soccer and runs both track and cross country.

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