Students obsess over wordplay game


Anna Rachwalski

GOOD, CLEAN FUN: While students have a variety of feelings surrounding a new addicting wordplay game, Worder, most can agree that it brings out the best in people.

Anna Rachwalski


A new wordplay game, Worder, has created obsessions worldwide and at Midtown.

“I can’t go a day without doing the Worder,” junior Maia Franklin said. “I wake up every morning, and it’s the first thing on my mind. My therapist says it’s called ‘hyperfixation,’ but I say that it’s just a little fun game that I need to do or else I feel empty inside.”

To do a Worder, players have six tries to guess a five-letter secret word. A player types a word out in the grid, and the game then tells them if any of the letters in that word are in the secret word. Yellow letters are in the word, but in the wrong spot, while green letters are in the secret word in the right spot. Only one Worder puzzle is released a day.

“I still don’t get how to play Worder,” freshman Thomas Hartley said. “But do I do it every day anyways? Yeah. That’s how good it is.”

Senior Jessica Crawley has a self-described “fine-tuned” strategy for Worder.

“I use ADIEU every day,” Crawley said. “Lots of vowels means I can knock out a bunch of letters right away. I usually get the secret word in around five guesses because of how precise my method is.”

Other students have different approaches.

“Whatever word pops into my head is the word that I type out,” Hartley said. “Yesterday my first word was PIZZA. I got the solution on my second guess.”

A large appeal of Worder is that players are able to share their results through a colored grid that the game generates for them. Sophomore Jason Jones has found that the Worder helps him communicate better with his girlfriend.

“She broke up with me last week,” Jones said. “I’ve been texting her my Worder grid to contact her, since she won’t talk to me any other way. Sandi, if you’re reading this, text me back.”

English teacher Marissa Price is “delighted” at her students’ new interest in etymology.

“It’s great that these kids are learning about words and how they’re constructed through the game,” Price said. “I would prefer that they didn’t do the Worder in the middle of my lectures though. Yesterday I was teaching a lesson about rhetorical analysis and one of my students was yelling out words ending in CK and panicking because she was on her last guess.”

Many students have a routine on when and where they do their Worder, to get an optimal result.

“I do it at exactly 3:49 p.m. every day,” Franklin said. “I like to stand in the middle of the sidewalk in the bus lane during dismissal and let the crowd of people flow around me. It’s stimulating to be bumped into every 5 seconds. One of my friends does it in her English class, because apparently the teacher’s voice makes her ‘the right type of bored.’”

No matter where students do their Worder, the secret word is “sacred,” according to Crawley.

“If someone spoils the word, they’re dead to me,” Crawley said. “My mom accidently told me where a letter was last week. I haven’t spoken to her since. My best friend pointed her screen toward me a little yesterday while she was doing the Worder. Yeah, sure, she lost a little bit of hair after I jumped her, but when they took me to the Office of Student Affairs, I explained that the secret word was worth it.”

Though Hartley’s also a Worder fan, he doesn’t get how his peers are driven to violence over a game.

“I didn’t get the Worder yesterday,” Hartley said. “It’s fine. It’s just a puzzle. Lately, I’ve been feeling like everyone in this school has gone crazy over some letters and colors. Calm down. Do a Sudoku instead.”