What is Wordle? What to know about the popular game among millennials

On my very first attempt at playing Wordle, I correctly guessed the right word on my third try. The word "impressive" popped up on my computer screen. 

According to data, Wordle is a new craze among millennials. But, what is this game, why is it popular and how do I not know about this trend as a millennial, myself? Let’s find out.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a web-based puzzle that requires players to guess a valid five-letter word in six tries or less. After each guess, the color of the tiles will change to show how close your guess was to the word.

Everyone is given the same word daily, and after 24 hours, the word changes. 

According to the New York Times, the game was created by Josh Wardle (Wordle is a play on his last name), a software engineer in Brooklyn who knew his partner loved word games, so he created a guessing game for just the two of them. 

The game was released on Nov. 1, and within less than three months, more than 300,000 people had played, according to the Times.

"I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun," Wardle said in an interview. "It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun."

But this isn't Wardle's first social experiment. The former software engineer for Reddit told the Times he created two collaborative social experiments on the site, called The Button and Place, that each were popular in their moment.

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A friend of the photographer plays "Wordle" on January 12, 2022 in New York City.

Where can I play Wordle?

The web-based game Wordle can be played on a desktop browser or mobile device at www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

Its simple website features no flashy banners or ads, nor does it require a complicated sign-up. You can merely head to the website and play.

Millennials are driving interest in Wordle

According to the data insights company Morning Consult, 14% of Americans have said they play "Wordle." 

However, "millennials are driving the most interest in the game," Morning Consult wrote Thursday. Twenty-six percent of respondents in the generation said they play Wordle, compared to 18% of Gen Zers, 9% of Gen Xers and just 5% of baby boomers. 

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The company said social media is the main force behind Wordle’s popularity, reporting that 43% of respondents who had heard of the game said they first heard about it on social media.

And while Wordle may seem like the popular game right now, polling data reveals the new game has a ways to go before it reaches the status of other mobile games.

To compare, 52% of adults said they play longtime favorite "Candy Crush" and 37% play "Words With Friends."

Even still, the game Wordle has people talking and playing.

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