Four Castleton students carve out a few minutes in their busy schedules to enjoy lunch.
They begin to chat casually when one reminds the group of their often unspoken daily tradition. On cue, Alex Williams pulls out his phone and opens Google to search for Wordle.
This begins the competition.
The new phenomenon called Wordle is a fun, interactive game able to be played on any mobile device that will tease one’s brain and promote intense competition among friends.
The friends suddenly grow quiet with focus, but the tension is obvious. Who will complete the assigned task first and in the fewest number of tries?
“Oh easy, I’ll be done in no time,” Jake Halverson confidently states as he bites a piece of pizza.
As every member of the group frantically races to figure out the target five-letter word, one senses victory.
“Yes I got it! And only in three tries,” Brytney Moore exclaims.
As the rest sigh in disappointment and defeat, they nevertheless continue their journey through the alphabet and various letter combinations. Soon they all have completed the puzzle and they return to their lunch, retrospectively conversing about how simple it was, yet upset it took so long to successfully complete.
The friends go on with the day, eagerly looking forward to tomorrow’s competition.
Wordle is a mind-boggling word game that requires players to correctly guess a five-letter word in six tries. Once a first word is guessed, each letter will be revealed in colors: gray means that letter is not in the word, yellow means that letter is in the word but not in the correct spot, and green means that letter is in the word and in the correct position.
“This is the first time I have encountered the game,” states Marc Lambert, a 12th grade English teacher at Granville High School and assistant softball coach at Castleton University. “I think it’s immensely beneficial…it appeals to a wide range of people and especially caters to visual learners who are able to solve puzzles.”
Lambert believes the game provides a formidable challenge and promotes healthy competition between all participants.
“I think it was a really cool idea that it was limited to once per day,” states Andrew Alexander, an English professor at Castleton University. “It’s a logic game based upon your knowledge of how language works and if it inspires people to get more serious about language, I’m all for it.”
Game creator Josh Wardle is overwhelmed by its rapidly emerging popularity, as is the rest of the nation. On Nov. 1, 2021, the game only had approximately 90 players, which drastically increased to 300,000 by Jan. 2, 2022, and a week later exploded to more than 2 million. Although the targeted age range is 35-44 year-olds, this social media craze is finding its way onto the phones and computers of teens and college students as well.
“Wordle is something to look forward to every day,” Halverson said. “It gets your brain working and also serves as a good competition between friends.”
If you have some downtime during the day, pull out your phone and search the latest media buzz, Wordle. You won’t be disappointed.