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Hugh Likes Video Games: Wordle

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Wordle
 Created by Josh Wardle
 https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

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The Skinny: You probably already played it today.

By this point, Wordle is a game that needs no introduction. But I am still coming across friends and relations puzzled by the towers of green and yellow blocks on their feeds. So I will make a brief introduction. Wordle began in 2019 as a sort of gift by Josh Wardle for his partner. Wardle, the designer of The Button and Place for Reddit, is known for his parasocial games. But Wordle is almost paradoxically enticing in its simplicity. There are no loot boxes to grind for. Nothing to subscribe to, no gatcha mechanic. Just a new five-letter word every day, and six guesses. The game didn’t even allow sharing until the feature was implemented towards the end of last year.
 But perhaps it is its simplicity that draws attention in 2022. It’s an echo of a simpler electronic age when the idea of meeting people in faraway places through a screen seemed like magic. In its way, Wordle is punk rock. It doesn’t need to be downloaded from an app store (although certainly, clones have popped up on all of them in the past few weeks.) It doesn’t have microtransactions and ads for the game don’t play 24/7 on YouTube. It’s just a quick little word game you can play every day and share your results.
 Wordle is a shared experience, and I think that’s key to its success. Having only one word a day, and knowing that everybody else posting their score had the same word, creates a feeling of connection, communication, and competition. That word took you six tries? You had that many correct letters on the first guess? The content is sharable and gets people talking. I like to look at people’s posted patterns and try and guess what words they use. Other users place a great value in getting the word in as few guesses as possible. Wordle is as much a game of deduction as wordplay. 
 With the New York Times’ Announcement that they have purchased Wordle in a seven-figure deal, the future of this little-game-that-could is uncertain. For now, the game is still hosted at the same site and is still free to play. But only time will tell if the paper’s acquisition will mark an end to the fad or elevate Wordle to the same level of cultural cachet as the crossword.

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Random RPG Creativity: Wardle’s Wondrous Weapon

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Inspired by THIS Comic, please enjoy the following item, to add to your fantasy TTRPG of choice.

Wardle’s Wondrous Weapon – Wondrous Item, Rare

These popular magic items, created by a slightly mad wizard with a penchant for puzzles, resemble a sword hilt with a row of five dials on the front. The dials correspond to letters, and once per day, the wielder of the weapon may attempt to guess a word, with up to six attempts. A correctly guessed letter glows green, and a letter that is in the word but in the incorrect spot glows yellow. If they manage to guess the word, a weapon will spring forth from the hilt, with those magical properties. For example, “KNIFE” might create a +1 Dagger, while “FROST” might create a sword that deals cold damage.The word is different every day, and each Weapon contains its own list that it draws from. Some are very powerful, while others are mere curiosities. The new weapon lasts until midnight, at which time the blade resets.
The GM should choose the word for the day, and its effects.

This content was created in accordance with the Open Game License. Wordle created by Josh Wardle. All other material copyright Hatching Phoenix Productions, C. 2022.