Cat in the Stax: The Benefits of Wordle
By Ethan Shea
If you’ve browsed social media at all during the past few months, you’ve probably heard of Wordle. If you’re not familiar with the term, Wordle is an online word game that allows users six attempts to guess a word using color clues. There is only one Wordle each day, and it is the same for everyone. This game took the world by storm as of late and was recently bought by the New York Times (NYT) with a seven figure price tag. Not a bad payday for Josh Wardle, the man who created the game just last October.
Some are worried Wordle will be put behind a paywall by the NYT, but luckily for us Villanovans, we have access to the New York Times through our institution.
There are several games I can think of that are similar in nature to Wordle. By this I mean they’re fun and quick word games that exercise your brain. Crosswords, Scrabble, and even Words with Friends come to mind. These sorts of games can be good for mental fitness; some are even advocating for the use of Wordle in the classroom.
Games like Wordle can help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in a way that is entertaining and generally more engaging than a traditional lecture. Of course, the best way to improve your skills at a game like Wordle is to know lots of words. There are more specific strategies that certainly help, such as choosing a starting word that uses several vowels and commonly used consonants, but the bottom line is that if you don’t have a relatively large vocabulary, you won’t be able to generate the necessary words.
That’s why, as a library, Falvey can help you get better at Wordle and subsequently impress all your friends. For example, we have books with games of a similar nature as Wordle that can help you train for the daily competition. You can find one such book here.
Another reason why a game like Wordle is so impactful is its ability to bring people together. This is what sets Wordle apart from other games like crosswords and word searches. Although these games are widely played, the fact that everyone deals with the same Wordle every day creates a more closely knit community of players. Plus, it’s easy to share your results with unique compositions of colored tile emojis.
Especially today, when many people are traveling less and associating with fewer people than in normal times, something that gives you an excuse to reach out to a friend or family member with a light-hearted game is certainly welcomed. Hopefully this blog helps you improve your Wordle skills a bit and makes you feel a little less guilty about spending an extended period of time playing an online game. In the correct dosage, it’s good for you!
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.