‘Wordle’ is internet’s latest gaming obsession

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 12:44 PM EST
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(CBC) – Are you wondering what those green and yellow tiles are that are all over your social media feeds?

It’s called “Wordle.” And if you haven’t heard of it yet, you will soon. It’s the new online game that’s become a sensation.

For millions of people around the world, this is a new part of their daily routine.

“That is not how you spell ‘vapour’ but I am going to do it anyways,” said “Wordle” player Mark Lynch.

You get six chances to guess a five letter word. But the online game has a catch: just one word, one puzzle, per day.

“It’s almost like that economy of not having too much, right? Just giving you a little bit of a snippet,” Lynch said.

At the Hexagon Café, a board game café, “Wordle”'s concept is immediately familiar. It’s a new take on older games.

“It seems like it is based on some really old games like ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Boggle,’ but it’s like mashed up together,” said Randy Wong, with Hexagon Café.

But some enigmatologists, or puzzle experts, say it’s a perfect fit for the pandemic.

“It’s like, ‘OK, this is my new ritual every morning,” said Stacy Costa, with the Institute for Studies in Education. “Maybe it is my cup of coffee and kind of doing this, and I did really well so I am ready to do my work at home where I’m ready to kind of go on with my day.”

Of course, before players do that, many brag online to friends and family about how they did.

“As soon as you share your results, someone’s like, ‘Oh hey, I could try that,” said player Donal O’Beirne. “’How come it took me six tries?’ and ‘How are you doing this?”

“You feel like you’re part of this bigger thing, because I know it’s taken off and people are playing this game all over the world,” said player Adam Kertesz.

“Wordle” has gotten so big that copycat games began to spring up. Apple stepped in and removed them from its app store, ensuring “Wordle” fans will still be limited to one word per day.

It’s a way to help weather the pandemic, according to Aalborg University psychology professor Patrick Bender.

“Break a negative cognitive thinking state that you are in and distract yourself for a short while with something that can help you enter a more positive state,” Bender said.

That idea rings true back at the café.

“What’s the alternative, just being at home watching Netflix? Like you can only do that for so long before you kind of go crazy and you run out of stuff to play, right?” Wong said.

Turns out, “games” is a five letter word helping many navigate these complex times.

Even the game’s name, “Wordle”, is a play on words. The game was created by software engineer Josh Wardle.

The game comes with no popup ads, no pesky login information and no cash grabs.

Wardle says he doesn’t have to charge people to play the game and wants to keep it that way.

To play the game, click here.

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