Wordle is the word: Why Ars is hooked on a free, accessible web game

Wordle is the word: Why Ars is hooked on a free, accessible web game

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

My favorite gaming discovery from the end of 2021 is probably Wordle—even though I had to decipher a cryptic social media puzzle to figure out what this popular new game actually was.

As 2021 came to a close and I bundled up beneath blankets due to an apparent omicron infection, I sought out simple entertainment that I could share with friends. Because of my fatigue and unease, breaking down plot threads in TV series like The Book of Boba Fett or Succession felt like too much.

An outburst of green, yellow, and gray squares on friends’ daily feeds got what little attention I could spare. What were these patterns? Why were fewer rows of boxes apparently better? And how come my favorite smart people were obsessed with it?

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