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Describing BC in Five Letters: Student Creates BC-Themed Wordle

Lyons. Upper. Vandy. Leahy. What do these words have in common? All were answers to BCWordle—the five-letter guessing game with terms unique to all things Boston College.

“I think the BC version of this Wordle is kind of just to bring BC people together over a common little game that people know about and that also can bring [alumni and] … parents in,” said Luke Stanise, creator of BCWordle and CSOM ’24.

Stanise launched the variation of Wordle, a daily online word puzzle, on Feb. 15, coming up with the idea in one of his classes where students get to experiment with various programming platforms.

“In one of my classes—it’s called Web Application Development—we have been using a platform called Glitch,” Stanise said.

Knowing how popular Wordle is, Stanise said he attempted to recreate his own version with the program.

“I know Wordle got super big—me and my friends would play and send it to each other every morning,” he said. “Then one day in class we were toying around with learning [the program], and I was just like, ‘Alright, I’m just going to make a tiny little Wordle on it.’”

Although other students encouraged him to pursue the idea, Stanise said he was not sure how to pull it off.

“I had background in Python and other [computer] languages, but I’ve never worked with the other languages before,” he said.

After coming up with the program two weeks into the second semester, Stanise said he set it aside for a week. But once he realized he had all of the tools in front of him, Stanise was off and running.

Although he created the program himself, Stanise has a team of BC students helping him choose the five-letter words. His team includes Chelsea Schwartz, CSOM ’24; Brian Lynch, MCAS ’24; Stephen Carroll, CSOM ’24; and Grace Marshall, CSOM ’24.

“We have a bank of words that we have already thought up,” Stanise said. “We’ll look through them, [and] based on what we already did in the past couple of days, we’ll think of what we should do and how we should plan.”

Stanise said he is now able to see how many people are playing at a given time and where they are playing from.

“I went online and found this free version of a website called Leadfeeder, and basically, I put a script into my code [so that] everytime it runs, it will take [users’] computers info into this Leadfeeder and tell me if they are connected to a certain WiFi—most people are connected to BC WiFi—and [it] will also add one to the count [of users],” Stanise said.

On average, between 2,000 and 2,500 people play the game a day from all over, according to Stanise.

“I see a majority of the couple thousand is at Boston College, but then I see kids who are abroad at schools, like I see people in Madrid, in the UK,” he said. “I also see people’s parents [playing]. I also see Boston law enforcement, or I’ll see other schools, too. I see Northeastern, UPenn, or BU.”

Among the many BCWordle users is Brendan O’Friel, MCAS ’25, who said he enjoys playing everyday.

“I think [BCWordle] is really cool,” O’Friel said. “I really like the original Wordle, but having to guess words that are specific to BC is pretty neat, and it’s something to look forward to everyday.”

Charlie Davis, MCAS ’24, said he likes that playing BCWordle has become a regular part of his day.

“It’s a routine at this point,” Davis said. “Once it gets to midnight or when I wake up in the morning, I do all of the little games that have been reset. I [also like] seeing if I know all of the buildings on campus, [since] that’s mostly what it is.”

O’Friel said he would absolutely recommend the game to other people.

“I would definitely recommend it to people who already like playing Wordle and like a challenge and want something to do in the mornings to stimulate [their] brain,” O’Friel said.

Stanise said he wants everyone to have fun playing the BCWordle and that he hopes it becomes an easy conversation starter around campus.

“I think the main thing is just something fun to discuss in the morning that isn’t stress and school, or when you’re at breakfast talking about all of the work you have to do,” Stanise said. “It’s just a way to connect people more in the most minimal way possible but just in a fun way.”

Featured Graphic by Annie Corrigan / Heights Editor

February 27, 2022