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"Wordle", the online word game that Americans care about

“Wordle”, the online word game that Americans care about

Five letters, six articles and just one word for you to discover per day: The word “Wordle” is very simple, but in recent weeks, this online game has excited social networks in the United States.

“It makes you addicted,” she told AFP Susan Drobin, an American daily player at Wordle. “It’s great, it only takes a few minutes, and it’s a nice little distraction,” adds the 65-year-old retiree who lives in Maryland on the east coast of the United States.

According to the New York Times, on November 1, 90 people tried to find the word of the day. Two months later, on January 2, their number was over 300,000.

The principle is childlike: it is a matter of guessing the famous five-letter word, in a maximum of six attempts. Each misplaced letter appears in green, and a misplaced good character appears in yellow.

For everyone, you find the same word every day, and in case of failure you have to wait for the next day.

After launching it a few weeks ago, Susan Drobin has joined thousands of gamers sharing their daily scores on social media using the hashtag #Wordle, six rows of five colored rectangles showing the number of attempts they are making. I explained the riddle.

– No ads –

Part of what sets Wordle apart is that it was designed by a computer engineer named Josh Wardle, not to be sold to the general public, but simply as a means of entertainment. This Briton, who lives in New York, therefore decided not to monetize the game.

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“People are enjoying these fun things online,” Josh Wardle told the New York Times. Wordle “does not attempt to do anything suspicious with your personal data.”

No ads appear on the site, but some beginners have already taken the desire to copy the principle, and make money from it. However, these clones disappeared from the Apple App Store on Wednesday.

All that’s left is an app called Wordle! , but was created five years ago and has nothing to do with Josh Wardle. He explained to the Wall Street Journal that the app has seen more than 40,000 downloads per day in recent days, without its creator initially understanding why.

The viral game can only be found at: powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle.

For Mikael Jakobsson, Research Coordinator for GameLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Wordle should be categorized as “hobby” games.

Games with simple mechanics, “When you’re waiting for a friend or (…) when you’re waiting for the bus,” the researcher tells AFP.

– brag online –

According to him, the success of the game can partly be explained by the ease of sharing, on social networks or through word of mouth.

After solving the puzzle “You feel so proud of yourself (…), you have this little share button here. So you can brag a little, which we love to do,” he explains.

Rachel Quert, a psychologist specializing in video games, abounds and invokes social comparison theory: Everyone wants to evaluate themselves in relation to others.

The researcher also believes that “limiting one game per day gives you a sense of psychological scarcity.”

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“It makes you want to come back and play day in and day out,” she told AFP.

Another advantage of the game is that it is accessible to everyone – provided that you are fluent in English …

Given the meteoric popularity of Wordle, it was only a matter of time before it was adapted to other languages.

– Sotom or Motos –

It’s been done since Saturday in French, with a different version called “Sutom”, which is a miniature anagram of the late French TV game “Motus”, which partly uses its symbols.

On sutom.nocle.fr, the visitor must, as with Wordle, guess the word of the day in only six attempts.

But Jonathan Magano, who made Wordle switch to Sotom, made it clear to AFP that he didn’t want to eat all the idiosyncrasies of his English-speaking counterpart.

This 30-year-old computer engineer developed Sutom in one day, using words longer than five letters because, at Motus, we were above level one.

After just four days of existence, the sauce had already begun to take over the Sutom.

So an acquaintance of Jonathan Magano built a tool for him to determine the daily number of players who tweet their results.

From 488 tweets on Monday, Sutom had already risen to nearly 1,300 by late Tuesday afternoon.

Facing the flow, “the waiter had a little face in the middle of the day,” Jonathan Magano smiles.