Wordle’s Love Story: Works from the Brain and Heart

Written by: Amadine

Edited by: Jaeho

Visual by: Summer

Characterizing the first quarter of 2022 amid the many and constant recycling of microtrends came a simple five-letter puzzle game called Wordle. As described in depth by Mark Brill of ‘The Conversation’ “it involves six chances to work out a mystery five-letter word. After each guess, the color of the letter squares changes to show how close the attempt was to the mystery word.” This singular themed green-and-yellow box picked up virality at the start of January and has since become an internet sensation.

The origins of “Wordle” trace back to late 2021. Designed by Josh Wardle (a Welsh-born engineer with degrees in Media Arts and Fine Arts) as a romantic gesture to his wife, knowing of her love for guessing games — Wordle was originally something reserved for just the two. A few months into its creation, however, it became an obsession on one of his WhatsApp family group chats; this simple game initially shared by the two slowly began its diffusion. Realizing a growing appeal in his creation, Wardle decided to release Wordle to the world. From there, its traction grew- from 90 people in November to over 2 million by January’s end through social media diffusion. And just this January, NYT (New York Times) purchased Wordle for $1m. Although a simple game, Wordle attracts for a reason; players enjoy the scarcity of there being a limited amount of chances, it being a once-a-day brain teaser, and lastly having the ability to exercise their brain!

Similar to games of Chess and Scrabble, playing wordle is considered ‘cognitive training.’ Having to search for the five-letter word lies under “deductive reasoning tasks,” which is linked to activity in the frontal and prefrontal cortex of the brain. Deductive reasoning tasks are where you progress more general ideas to narrow conclusions. This is similar to the process of elimination – with existing information you consider and reject specific parts of information which lead you to the right answer. Having to search for a five-letter word lies under “deductive reasoning tasks,” which are tasks where you progress more general ideas into more narrow conclusions.

Living this “cognitively active” lifestyle, through implementing Word Games into your daily life, is shown to have many beneficial effects. This once-a-day mindteaser is an escape for yourself and an opportunity to exercise your brain.  “Wordle” is a simple puzzle linked and extracted from both the head – in how it exercises your brain, and heart – in regard to it’s origins of love! More personally, Mr. Sheard has encouraged the implementation of Worlde into the ISM community. On a daily basis, Mr. Sheard sends a link to the daily HS library Wordle, along with a F2F component which is telling him in person what the word is, for a chance to win a prize if you’re one of the first 5 to do so.

Play Wordle HERE and look out for Mr. Sheard’s emails!


“Featured News – Regular Crosswords and Number Puzzles Linked to Sharper Brain in Later Life – University of Exeter.” Exeter.ac.uk, 2018, http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_716265_en.html. Accessed 21 Mar. 2022.

LaMotte, Sandee. “Does Playing Wordle Make You Smarter?” WVTM, 8 Mar. 2022, http://www.wvtm13.com/article/does-playing-wordle-make-you-smarter/39364519#. Accessed 21 Mar. 2022.LaMotte, Sandee. “Monica Lewinsky and Anderson Cooper Share Obsession over ‘Wordle.’” CNN, 8 Mar. 2022, edition.cnn.com/2022/03/08/health/wordle-brain-games-wellness/index.html. Accessed 21 Mar. 2022.