Connections: Controversial or Cool? A game that connects people.

During class you may look over and see your classmate playing the New York Times Connections game. This fun mind game proves to be ample entertainment during lectures. (Photo Courtesy of New York Times )

The New York Times has a variety of word-based games for people to play on their website. One of their biggest hits was Wordle, a strategic guessing game that was released in 2021. However, a new game that has garnered large amounts of attention from the public, and that is Connections.

Connections was released on June 12, 2023, and currently is the second-most-played New York Times game, after Wordle. The game involves matching four words out of sixteen that share something in common- meaning there are four groups of four synonymous words. 

The May 24, 2024 Connections. The differing colors indicate the difficulty level of the group. (Screenshot Courtesy of Nadia Ferjani)

The game is run by Wyna Liu who writes new Connections every day. She has recently gained traction on social media based on the difficulty of her categories. People have made jokes about the specificness of the categories. Such as Stephen Rigatoni’s TikTok which lists off made-up categories to poke fun at the intricate categories that Wyna creates. 

There are many TikToks like Stephen’s and people don’t necessarily see them as exaggerations or jokes anymore as some categories have been extremely particular. Some past categories that people have noted as “outlandish,” or “impossible,” were: “What a mole can be,” (Animal, birthmark, spy, unit). “Fruit homophones,” (Bury, current, leachy, pair). “Shapes of capital Greek letters,” (Circle, horseshoe, pitchfork, triangle). 

While there may be complaints brought up from players on social media, it all seems to be in a good spirit. Especially considering the outrageousness of the categories is what often draws more players in. In 2023 Connections racked up over 2 billion plays in total, which technically was only in the span of half a year since it was released in June. That’s an estimated average of ten million plays a day. 

While the categories continue to stir up complaints, the Connections game remains popular to this day and the writer Wyna keeps her spirits high. 


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