The Internet’s Latest Sensation

Hello Seabrookers!

It’s been quite a while since I last posted something here on Tidelines. Today I’d like to discuss something that has taken the Internet by storm lately. Have you been on social media and seen anyone post something that looks like this?

It’s the latest craze that everyone of all ages is playing. Wordle!

In short, it’s a game where a new puzzle is released once a day, and you have 6 chances to guess the 5-letter word. Upon each guess, if a space is colored in green, that means the correct letter is in the correct position. A yellow space indicates that the letter is in the word, but it’s not in the correct spot. And finally, a grey or black space means that the letter is not in the word. But the catch is you only get 6 chances to guess the word. According to Google, the English language has over 158,000 different 5-letter words, so Wordle is sure to stick around.

It became such a hit with users near the end of 2021 that The New York Times, who for the longest time has been known for their great crossword and sudoku puzzles, purchased the game for over 1 million dollars earlier this year. The release of the game hit at just the right time, as we hadn’t quite gotten out of the midst of the pandemic, so the timing was perfect for its developer, Josh Wardle. (See what he did there!?) The fact that the game is free to play (for how much longer, who knows) and that it’s quick and easy to make it part of your daily routine has helped to increase its popularity. People also enjoy sharing their results with friends and family and engaging in friendly competition.

As to be expected, there has been a lot of Wordle variations that have sprung up in recent months, all similar to the original game.

Crosswordle Wordle with a crossword-type twist.

Hello Wordl Similar to the original, but allows up to 11-letter words. You can also play as many times as you like.

Heardle Try to guess the title and artist of a song by listening to the fewest number of seconds.

Worldle Look at a silhouette of a country in the world and try to guess it in the fewest number of attempts.

Nerdle Math version of Wordle, but instead of guessing the word of the day, you need to guess the equation.

All of this talk about Wordle has me reminiscing about online games of the past that took the Internet by storm. Do you remember these?

One thing is for sure, the evolution of computers and the Internet, and particularly social media, has given us the ability to connect with just about anyone in the world and start a friendly game, no matter how simple or trivial the actual game might be. Perhaps these games challenge our brains and keep us mentally sharp whereas others may just be mindless time-wasters that take our thoughts away from the troubles of the everyday world, even if only for a few minutes each day.

What are some other online games in the past decade or so that you remember hearing about?  I’d love to hear about them.

Chad Droze, IT Systems Analyst
Compu-Experts & Post & Computer Center (in Freshfields Village)