Regina‘s Josh Wardle read a text message he received but brushed past assuming it was spam even though it had the logo of a major American news network attached to it.
“Hey Josh I’m an editor for the flagship morning program Newsday. We just want to say congratulations on the great success of Wordle and we’d love to know if you wanted to do a 6 minute interview live on the show.”
But then a few hours later he received a call from a New York area code – a call he would usually ignore but decided to answer this time, later joking that it was “destiny.”
Wardle explained how the call played out: “‘Hey is this Josh Wardle?’ I said yup. He said ‘hey we want to congratulate you on the success of Wordle. It’s blowing up and we’d love to sit down and talk to you about it.’
“And I was like I don’t know what you are talking about but OK and he’s like ‘Oh, you’re not the creator of the game Wordle?'”
“And then it clicked,” Wardle recalls.
That call was supposed to be for Josh Wardle, the software engineer in Brooklyn, New York who created the word game Wordle which has taken the internet by storm.
But Regina’s Josh Wardle doesn’t mind the mix-up because the simple game which he only started playing this week is something positive.
“It’s not following the trends of most social media things now. Like it’s not trying to get you addicted. It only lets you play once a day. There’s no financial thing in it. They’re not trying to make money or advertise so it’s pretty harmless,” said Wardle.
And the creator of the game who he shares a name with agrees.
“Making Wordle I specifically rejected a bunch of the things you’re supposed to do for a mobile game,” actual Wordle creator Josh Wardle told NPR. “The rejection of some of those things has actually attracted people to the game because it feels quite innocent and it just wants you to have fun with it.”
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Still, Regina’s Josh Wardle is taking the newfound attention in stride.
“For me, it’s been quite manageable because mostly it’s just been friends and stuff that are reaching out. I’ve had a number of media and news people reach out to me. I think it’s different for me, being a burden because I haven’t really done anything. I’m just kind of riding the wave of popularity so it’s super easy for me and it doesn’t stress me out to do any of this,” he said of requests for interviews.
But the Queen City resident says he can only imagine the attention the actual creator gets.
“I think if I was actually the creator I would be quite exhausted about it because it would be what I’m experiencing but tenfold which would be a little bit rough but it’s been fine with me… I’m just enjoying the moment and taking it for what it is”
So, if not a software engineer like his namesake in New York, who is Regina’s Josh Wardle?
“I’m just a basic Prairie boy, I guess, working in a rural industrial sector of work and trying to just grab onto his 15 minutes of fame. It’s just ridiculous but it’s super funny and I’m enjoying it.”