By Anil Dash

January 7, 2022

Wordle Mania and the Remixable Web

Over the last few weeks, people all across the internet have found joy in playing Wordle, the simple-but-addicting word game made by Josh Wardle. Wordle's gameplay is basically guessing letters until you've deduced the word of the day, similar to the classic game Mastermind. And no small part of the appeal is that you can only play the game once a day, and after you win, you're immediately prompted to share your win, either on social media or as a message to friends. The signature block of green emojis was mysterious enough to pique the interest of many, and helped Wordle spread like wildfire.

But, as the New York Times documented, Wordle is just as interesting for the context in which it was made. Josh made it as a gift for his puzzle-loving partner, Palak Shah, and the Times rightly described it as "an act of love". Being a community of people who make the web, our perspective at Glitch also found a lot of romance in the idea that this is a fast, simple, well-implemented web app. Wordle is a PWA that can install instantly on any device, doesn't have a ton of extraneous junk loading on the page, and it's really speedy (a Lighthouse performance score of 95!).

No surprise, then, that Wordle has inspired a host of other creators in the Glitch community and elsewhere to make their own riffs on the idea, all of which bring fun and interesting innovations to the game:

There are big lessons from the attention and enthusiasm around Wordle that feel important to emphasize as we start a new year: