Wordle creator, from Wales, responds to global success of viral puzzle
The New York-based creator of Wordle, who is originally from Wales, has responded to the global success of the puzzle he developed.
Josh Wardle, who lives in Brooklyn, but grew up in Llanddewi Rhydderch, near Abergavenny, has suggested that the rapid growth in the game’s popularity has been a source of pleasure as well as worry.
The software engineer, who developed the online word puzzle for his partner, has seen it grow at an astonishing rate, going from 90 daily players in November to 300,000 at the beginning of January, to 2 million last weekend.
Josh, who went King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny, sent on to study Media Arts, at Royal Holloway, University of London.
He has worked for the likes of tech giant Reddit, and Pinterest, said that he and his partner played it for fun on their sofa, and other users began to join them, with the game going on to become an unexpected viral hit.
On the success of Wordle, he told The Guardian: “It going viral doesn’t feel great to be honest. I feel a sense of responsibility for the players. I feel I really owe it to them to keep things running and make sure everything’s working correctly.”
‘Way for people to connect’
But he added that he takes comfort in knowing that the game has helped people at a difficult time, saying: “I get emails from people who say things like ‘hey, we can’t see our parents due to Covid at the moment but we share our Wordle results each day’. During this weird situation it’s a way for people to connect in a low effort, low friction way.”
“Even though I play it every day, I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it: it makes me feel smart, and people like that.”
There is a new word for players to guess every day, and they get just six chances to identify it.
Wordle was deliberately designed to be played once a day only. It does not have features designed to promote its growth such as push notifications and email sign ups. Its popularity is thought to be partly because of that.
Adam Procter, who leads the game design course at Southampton University said: “The internet is in a really bad place at the moment, but this is great because it’s not doing all those nasty things. It’s what the web was like when we first had it, it was much more playful.”