The Wordle obsession is real, y’all. And you know how I know? Because it got you here: to the point where you’re actually looking for real, tangible games to play to fulfill your growing need for that sweet, sweet word building and letter deciphering. In a world where everything we do is on our phones and very little can distract our attention from our shiny wearables, that’s a pretty impressive feat.
What is Wordle, anyway?
Wordle is a daily word puzzle created by Brooklyn-based software engineer Josh Wardle. The online word game was launched in October 2021 and grew in popularity so quickly that it was picked up by The New York Times in January 2022. The game itself, however, has remained the same since day one: a grid of gray boxes where you have six chances to guess the predetermined five-letter word of the day.
Get tips for today’s Wordle
You start by typing a five-letter word that will let you know if any of those letters are in the word of the day. If so, the letter will turn yellow; if not, it will be gray. A green letter, however, is preferable because it means the letter is in the word. and at a good place. We break down all the details (and the best strategies) herebut that’s the main thing.
Alas, we can only play one word a day. (Beware of spoilers if you haven’t played today’s word yet! Although we give you several warnings.) And it’s this very nature of the game that keeps us coming back day after day. after day.
Why are word games so popular?
It’s not just Wordle, though. Classic word games like Scrabble have roots that date back at least 100 years, and they’ve stood the test of time as they remain just as popular today. Whether digital or tangible, there’s something about puns that keeps us coming back for more. To get a better idea of what Something really is, we spoke to Emanuel Robinson, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at Battelle.
Dr. Robinson points out that intellectual engagement in various forms of games has always been popular with different groups or classes, dating back to the Victorian-era brain games that entertained people long before the advent of television. But why are we still so drawn to these games when we have so many other potential distractions these days?
“Personality can play a role,” says Dr. Robinson, citing his personal need for cognition. “A person raised in this trait tends to seek out intellectually stimulating content.” He also notes the competitive component of not only games we actively play against in-person opponents, but also games like Wordle that we play individually and too easily share with friends, strangers, and the entire internet, if we wish. “The inherent drive to ‘lead the pack’ – whether it’s a large, anonymous group or close family members – is strong.”
What makes the best puns so addictive?
These word games are not only popular, but playing them has become a habit for many of us. Dr. Robinson attributes this to a matter of behavioral psychology, resulting from the fact that many games are built on the principles of simple responses to different stimuli.
“Provide rewards at variable, intermittent intervals and you will increase willingness to play the game,” he explains.
Quite simply? In the case of Wordle, in particular, the simple fact that it can only be played once per day (designed by Wardle to prevent addiction) is precisely what creates the habit of playing every day. And when it comes to tabletop physical word games, the sheer rush and reward of winning – or the potential to win – will always keep you coming back for more.
What are the benefits of playing word games?
Before you start googling for treatments for your new word game addiction, let’s just slow down your progress and recognize that there are benefits to playing word games. Although Dr. Robinson notes that this area is debatable, he points out that there is evidence that word games are beneficial, especially for children and the elderly.
“There are certain skills that one exercises in purposeful word games and other intellectual games that seem to be beneficial in a variety of areas,” he says, including, but not limited to:
Focused concentration for a long period of time
Connect different concepts and access memory reserves
Find new associations
Identify mistakes or reject bad words/ideas
Whether or not they can boost your brain power, there’s one big and very clear benefit that can’t be debated, and that’s the simple fact that the best word games are also fun. That alone is the biggest benefit we can think of when it comes to playing them, even if they aren’t necessarily capable of improving the average adult’s cognitive levels.
Are tangible word games better than digital word games?
“Theoretically, games or activities that use multiple modalities have advantages,” says Dr. Robinson, referring to tangible multiplayer games that use both physical and verbal aspects in their gameplay. “Using multiple modes of encoding and interaction makes it easier to remember and access information. So if we use both physical and verbal cues, there are two different routes to that information in the future. .”
He also points out that puzzles – whether based on logic, math, word puzzles or otherwise – can exercise different mental skills that can carry over to other types of problem solving or activities that can useful in personal or professional contexts. There is even an area of social problem solving, which one could argue could be enhanced by in-person and one-on-one play of actual word games.
Overall, Dr. Robinson notes that playing physical word games (as opposed to digital games) can provide richer encoding of information due to the full context of the modes. “Not only is it physical, but there are often other people involved, which is another line of encoding and accessing information to make memories come alive.”
What is the best word game for Wordle fans?
Maybe you just jumped on the Wordle bandwagon, or maybe you’ve been obsessed with it for months. Either way, if you fancy being able to bring all that decryption and competitive word-making into the real, physical world, we’ve got a bunch of solid recommendations for you. From classic word games like Scrabble and Boggle to a whole new generation of unique and innovative games that put an extra fun twist on things, here are some of the best word games you can play with your fellow Wordle addicts during your next game night.