The first viral game of 2022: WORDLE
Did you come across it on social media too? 5 gray boxes side by side. Some are yellow. Then 5 more boxes underneath. This time one of them is green! At the end of a maximum of 6 rows running one after the other, all of them are green. This is a game. A word puzzle game called WORDLE. It emerged in the last months of last year and started to go viral in early 2022. The rules of the game are extremely simple. I will tell them. What really interests me is the story behind it. Because understanding the design of this game can also open the door to some other things in life that are becoming increasingly gamified. But first, let’s open our boxes.
WORDLE begins as a 5-column, 6-row grid. Our goal is to find a 5-letter word that changes every day. Since the person who made the game is American – by the way, pay attention to the surname – it is necessary to guess the words in English. But don’t worry, it has been translated into many languages and there is a Turkish version among them. You start by guessing a 5-letter word. Let me start with my own name: Barış.
As you can see the first two boxes have turned yellow. So the correct answer includes the letters B and A, but I guessed them in the wrong position. Since these letters are in the pocket, I make a new guess by placing them in different positions. I feel like saying CONCRETE, but no. Why? Because it has to be both B and A. Would it be a BATON then? Normally it does, but I didn’t move the letters. So they will come out yellow again. Let it be. I can’t think of any other words right now. At least maybe I can catch another letter. That’s the business strategy. So, is there such a word in Turkish? I’m giving you a hint. There is. But we still look at the dictionary right away. According to the TDK dictionary, to provide balance or speed in BATON skiing; A stick used for pushing or hitting in sports such as baseball, hockey, and cricket.
Then we write immediately and see if we can catch any other letters. We already knew the first two letters. They come out yellow again. But two more yellows are added. We also know the letters O and N. It will contain the letters B, A, O and N, but the order will change. 5 letter word. Hmm… Let’s think about it. I’m giving you a hint. Take a look at the button in the lower right corner of the video. Even press one if you haven’t already. Then let’s guess: SUBSCRIBE. On our third guess, we found the 5-letter word. This is our solution pattern that we will proudly share. This is how we try to guess a 5-letter word with a maximum of 6 tries.
Now let’s get to the game design. I said this game is the first viral game of 2022. Of course, it won’t be the only viral game. What games have we seen before: Let’s raise a hand for those who farm at Farmville on Facebook. Candy Crushes, Animal Crossings, Flappy Birds… “Viral”, that is, games that spread rapidly among people, are somehow designed for exactly this. However, WORDLE has a difference. Unlike other games, it was not made to take your time as much as possible. Just the opposite. Only one word is published per day. After you find the word, you can’t play the game until the next day. So there is a restriction. This makes it even more valuable. Remember: constraints both increase creativity and increase value. Therefore, while evaluating the opportunities we have, we should not look at what we do not have and make excuses.
Another issue that differentiates the WORDLE game is its accessibility. It is public, completely free, and you only use a web browser. So if you can access the internet, you can also play this game. You are not downloading the application. You are not registered. You are not sharing information. You enter your browser and play. It’s that simple. It’s so accessible. This makes it easily accessible to everyone. Remember: accessibility drives growth and unlocks more people’s potential. So when designing things, stay away from complexity as much as possible. Simplify, simplify. Remove barriers between what you do and other people.
The third and last important issue I’ve seen in WORDLE is shareability. Good games actually stimulate the right points of the brain. In this example, both the language-related parts of the brain and parts of the brain related to logic are exercised. In other words, we take this exam both verbally and numerically. But it’s not as stressful as an exam. It’s fun like a game. Because we release the hormone dopamine in every letter we guessed correctly. Every box we see in yellow and green gives us feelings of satisfaction and satisfaction. We want to share the patterns and visual clues they create with others. In other words, the third important feature of this game is that it is shareable. Remember: shareability not only enriches the value produced, but also creates an ecosystem around it. So whatever you’re doing, try to get others to partner with it. Team up, build community. Share the value.
In this game everyone is trying to find the same word every day. A community comes together for a common goal. Says one of the gamers: “The fact that we’re all trying to solve the same puzzle brings us together and helps us feel like we’re tackling a bigger problem together.” Those who achieve this goal begin to share it in different ways.
You can watch the translation, he is a truly magnificent man.
Let me show you the most typical example of this. Someone started to process the results he received day by day like a canvas. He also shared this on social media.
When I see this, I involuntarily think of the crosses I threw in order not to break the chain. It is nothing but the application of the principles I have just mentioned. Our constraint is our time, that is, our calendar. We do nothing but turn it into a visual grid and share it so that anyone can download it with one click.
If you apply the principles I just mentioned to your life, you can create a positive viral effect. Believe the results of such a move, even you would be surprised.
The person who made the WORDLE game says he designed it only for his girlfriend. So this is a job done with love. Then he shared it with his family and friends. Only 2.5 months ago, on November 1, 90 people were playing the game. Within 2 months, by the New Year, this number had increased to 300,000. In the next 2-3 weeks, that is, it is played by millions of people today.
A surprising result, but the principles are clear. If you tap into people’s potential, they do such amazing work using their most limited resources and share it with everyone.
Now let me share with you where you can find this game. For the original, namely the English version, the address is known: https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/ Do not try to download applications from your mobile phone, especially to buy them with money. Because unfortunately, such clones were made immediately. However, the game itself is played by simply clicking a link. I played the Turkish version of the game from an address on “github” via the fork made by Fatih Kadir Akın: https://f.github.io/wordle-tr/ Maybe there are other Turkish versions. Those who know can leave a link in the comments section.
The rules of the WORDLE game are clear. We all have 6 guesses, 5 letters to use in each guess. You will decide how you should act to find the right word.
The rules of the game of life are also clear. We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By using them, you will decide how you should act in order to reach the right goal.
Source: https://barisozcan.com/ Photo: https://store.steampowered.com/&https://www.fanatical.com/