Screens x
An illustration of a mobile device playing Wordle.
Illustration by Olivia Woolfrey, Ringling College of Art and Design

The still-popular game is not only fun, but also good for your brain.

Being an adult means thinking about your health a lot more often than you did when you were younger. And as we grow older year by year, we often turn to memorization, trivia and word challenge games to keep our minds “sharp,” and to help combat the illnesses that come with age. Wordle is the newest word challenge game that has been keeping millions occupied daily. But how good is Wordle for your brain?

Wordle

Wordle is a simple game, especially when you start to get the hang of it. Players have six attempts to try to guess a five-letter word. As the player guesses, each letter in the submitted word will become color coordinated: green for the correct letter in the correct place, yellow for the correct letter in the wrong place and grey for a letter that is not in the word at all. There is one new Wordle every day that players worldwide get to guess. Everyone shares the same word each day, so don’t spoil it for your family and friends if you complete it right at the crack of dawn.

The brain game that took the world by storm was created by Josh Wardle, a Welsh software engineer, in October 2021. During the winter months of 2021, Wordle became wildly popular on social media — even among some A-list celebrities. After the game’s major boom in popularity, it was purchased by The New York Times in January 2022, making it officially run by an American company and shifting the daily words away from their typical British origins. 

According to Experts

Word challenges and puzzle games have long been considered some of the best things a kid can do when they are growing up and learning. By partaking in activities that stimulate the brain, sometimes called “brain gymnastics,” new portions of the brain become more active, which can help with your overall health as you age.

Despite the simplicity of Wordle, it is not excepted from the benefits of a “brain game.” Many news anchors and medical professionals have covered the benefits of playing a game like Wordle, with CNN and WebMD each writing their own articles covering the game. Two neuroscientists that teamed up with WebMD stated that playing the game daily could “improve [an individual’s] memory and overall brain power.” Additionally, the two doctors pointed out that in a lot of cases, there is also a surprising social benefit to playing Wordle. “Wordle-boasting,” also known as bragging about your daily Wordle score, has become something that many people are familiar with. Whether it is the family group chat or with a handful of friends, lots of people share their daily Wordle scores, privately or publicly, with others. This social interaction may seem simple, but it may also push some people to build better and stronger relationships.

CNN, who interviewed memory and learning researcher Aaron Seitz, stated that being good or bad at Wordle is not an accurate representation of one’s intelligence. Many people who would otherwise be considered extremely smart might struggle with Wordle, typically guessing it in all six tries, if at all. Seitz did agree with the neuroscientists on the benefits of the game, however. It has been proven to increase brain activity and stimulation, which is good for overall brain health.

Seitz suggests that if you don’t find yourself overly excited about doing a Wordle every day, then try to find some other brain teasers and games to keep your mind in the healthiest shape it can be.

User Reviews

Aside from medical professionals and researchers, there are also reviews from the general public. These players often rave about how fun it is to get the Wordle in fewer tries than their siblings. One 58-year-old player stated that it felt good for their brain, which makes playing it worth all the while.

Others have stated that playing the game frustrates and stresses them out. Doctors advise against playing the game if these feelings apply to you. Games for your brain are important, but if the game is putting more stress on your mind than helping it, then it is not worth playing at all, or at least not every day.

PC Gamer gave Wordle a rating of 80 out of 100, calling it a “fantastic, mesmerizing daily puzzle that’s bundled to a community offering some of the best vibes on the internet.” The game appears to be a hit for regular players, celebrities and doctors alike, making it one of the most universally loved games at the moment.

Other Brain Gymnastics

 If you feel like you are a player that falls into the confused, angry or bored category, then Wordle might just not be for you. Despite this, it is still important to participate in games and activities that will promote the usage of different parts of your brain. If Wordle is too much stress and not enough fun, check out things like sudoku, word searches, crosswords and more. Additionally, try your hand at a sit-down brain game like chess or checkers. All in all, it is crucial for everyone to partake in some sort of brain activity to continue to age into the best version of themselves. Wordle is a simple, easy and accessible way to get a burst of brain activity without having to adjust your busy schedule.

Writer Profile

Janey Schmidt

Columbia College Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in English

I have always been an avid reader no matter the format. I am especially eager to read, write, and talk about all things fantasy!

Leave a Reply