Wednesday, August 3, 2022

An Open Letter to Josh Wardle

Dear Mr. Wardle,

Damn you. Also, thank you. Let me explain.

In October of last year, you gave us Wordle. I genuinely want to thank you for that. Not only does your simple little word guessing game bring me joy personally, but it also united us as a nation.

You see, it’s hard to brag about things these days, because everyone is so sensitive about everything. The new cancel culture makes it almost impossible to toot your own horn.

Cooked a beautiful steak? Here comes PETA to tell you why you’re evil. Proud of your ballpark diagonals in your front lawn? Don’t you care that we’re in a drought? Got that sweet ’65 Mustang running again? Why do you hate mother earth? Evaded the cops by doing 120 mph on the freeway after robbing the 7-Eleven? Wow, you’re so “reckless” and “criminally negligent.”

Invariably, some jealous internet troll will cry foul and shut you down with the help of their basement-dwelling minions.

Thankfully, however, bragging about our Wordle scores is still seen as socially acceptable. For now, anyway. Thank you for that. On a side note, Mr. Wardle, I’m happy to report that I remain undefeated by your game. My record as of this morning stands at 181-0. Again, just a small side note. No big deal. Just undefeated in Wordle after 181 games.

Here’s the thing, though. Your fun little game spawned a snakes’ nest of spin-offs. Spin-offs that I’m equally as drawn to. That is presenting a problem.

I don’t know who the lair-dwelling Swiss supervillain was who created Dordle, but in early 2022 this psycho took your beautifully simple game and created the offshoot where we play two Wordles at once, side-by-side, with seven guesses instead of six.

Who even thinks of something that weird and wordishly sadistic? It’s crazy. I was immediately hooked.

Things got out of hand fairly quickly after that. After Dordle came Quordle, with four. Then Octordle, with eight, etc.

Many other game developers abandoned words, but kept your once-a-day, everyone playing against each other theme that we fell in love with. Soon we had a song guessing game called Heardle, and a map guessing game called Worldle. Movies, shapes, Nerdle for numbers. Anything was on the table.

As the non-word-based games ramped up, the word-based developers kept adding on more and more simultaneous puzzles, while also working on the “opposite” of your Wordle. Eventually The Evil Wordle and Absurdle sprang to life. Semantle, a ridiculously impossible one for semantically similar words showed up. Popular series fan-based games emerged like Lordle of the Rings, Hogwartle, and SWordle for Star Wars.

Basically, chaos ensued, and I’m hanging on by a thread. I used to be a simple man. I had my crossword puzzles and I was happy. But you changed all that. Now, among many other things, my day involves the Duotrigordle. Thirty-two Wordles at once.

I don’t want to live like this. Please help me.

You created this mess. Now please create an online support group of some kind where we can get help.

Maybe the support group could also have games of some kind for us to play while we wait for the meetings to start. Perhaps word-based guessing games?

Just please make sure the games keep stats so we can brag. Did I mention I’m 181-0 in Wordle?

Yours in word nerdiness,



Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen


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