What is the Wordle game?

The Wordle game has quickly risen to popularity among teens and young adults. While its concept is harmless enough, there are some things that parents should be aware of.

What is the Wordle game?

The Wordle game is a daily word puzzle created in the UK where users have to guess a 5-letter word in six guesses or less. When a player guesses the correct letter in the correct place, the square turns green. If they guess the correct letter in the wrong place, it turns yellow. Players can share their results on social media to show how many tries it took for them to get the word.

Why is Wordle popular?

The charm is in its simplicity. Users can only play once per day, which forces moderation. For those who are susceptible to endless scrolling or binge-playing such games, Wordle is a good choice to promote digital wellbeing.

The Wordle game is web-based and does not require a download. It has minimal settings: hard mode, dark mode and colour blind mode. Without any ads, it doesn’t encourage players to focus on anything other than the game.

What are the benefits of Wordle?

  • Promotes word recall and vocabulary-building
  • There is a healthy culture around the game with heavy emphasis on not spoiling the day’s word for anyone else
  • An active social media community exists because of the share function once a word is guessed correctly
  • It forces users to think critically about all possibilities. Guessing a five letter word is harder than it seems!

Things to watch out for

While the original Wordle is currently ad-free and web-based, there are many imitators that are not. These copycats are regularly removed from app stores but more continue popping up. While they look and work like Wordle, they tend to collect data and information in a way that the original does not.

Wordle saves users’ game progress through cookies. Once cookies are deleted, all progress is lost. However, many of the game’s clones collect and retain data especially for targeted ads. If a child plays one of the copycats, they run the risk of sharing unnecessary information or clicking ads for third-party content. These apps don’t have parental controls in place to limit what kinds of ads they might see.

More adult spinoffs of the Wordle game also exist, which includes vocabulary unsuitable for those under 18.

To ensure your child is enjoying Wordle and staying safe, check they are using the original web-based game.

Latest updates

February 2022

  • + The game was bought by the New York Times. Although they insist that it will remain free, some users are concerned that this won’t always be the case. Keep an eye out for relevant updates that might add cost or ads to the game.
  • + The original web address now redirects to the New York Times page where users have to accept or reject tracker data. The page now links out to other New York Times games as well, so it’s important to understand what each game entails for direct links.
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