(NEW YORK) – The first big viral trend of 2022 is here, and it’s a colorful play on words called Wordle.
Players visiting Wordle’s website are given six chances to guess a five-letter word randomly selected from a database. With each try, the game tells you how close your letters are to the “Word of the Day”. If the letters you selected are in the word but in the wrong order, Wordle will highlight them in yellow. If the letters are included in the word and placed correctly, they will be highlighted in green. Letters highlighted in gray mean they do not appear in the Word of the Day.
“It’s a good, fun game,” says Gizmodo Executive Editor Andrew Couts. “It only takes a few minutes and it’s something to talk about with your friends.”
Wordle was developed by New York software engineer Josh Wardle last fall, but according to Couts, the game really got popular in late December and early January and now has more than three hundred thousand daily players.
“It seemed like after the holidays everyone was playing this game and sharing it on Twitter, sharing it all over social media,” says Couts, adding that Wordle’s distinctive visual style is key to its success.
“It creates a kind of cool little pattern that the game can share on social media really easily… so you can show people how well you did the word of the day.” And I think that’s one of the big things that made this game a success.”
World 209 6/6
It took me all morning…
— Rob Hawley (@robertlhawley) January 14, 2022
While the rules of the game are simple, Couts says there are a few strategies to maximize your chances of Wordle fame.
“Selecting words with a range of vowels and selecting words with common consonants like S, T, or K is a great way to quickly get the word of the day.”
This simplicity cuts both ways – which could open the game up to people willing to up their odds through shadier means.
“Also, it’s a very simple website, and it’s very easy to cheat if you really want to,” says Couts. “For example, you can look at the site’s source code and see the entire list of words of the day. So you can know them in advance. But that kind of takes all the fun out of it.”
Finally, says Couts, now is the time for some innocent online fun.
“It’s actually a nice thing on the internet for once, so that’s very welcome.”
Hear ABC News Radio’s Michelle Franzen on the latest viral craze:
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