The Wordlers – A Literary Web3 Experiment

by Greg R. Fishbone

This article was originally published  in Issue 6 of Vagobond Magazine.

My latest experiment in Web3 is the Wordlers project.

Each day, the New York Times Wordle provides a five-letter word that serves as my creative prompt for a character portrait and story episode. Each day introduces new characters, extends the existing story, and further develops the Wordlers setting.

Episodes are linked to story tokens that readers can mint to their personal collections on the Cent platform or transfer to their wallet of their choice. Tokens are assets that can be traded on a secondary market within the community. Each new episode adds context and value to all the episodes that have come before, and because the prompts are unpredictable, even I don’t know what twists might happen next.

At over 20,000 tokens minted by more than 3,000 holders, the first forty episodes of the Wordlers project is the world’s largest collection of literary NFTs, as far as I’ve been able to determine. That storyline, Wordle Quest, forms the “sandbox season” of the Wordlers project.

Step by step, the story format has evolved from disjointed flash fiction into a fully realized setting. I fell into a comfortable rhythm of updates until tragedy struck—on a day when I failed to solve the puzzle, the Wordlers lost their village home, and the story will never be the same.

The upcoming NIGHTfall storyline is scheduled to publish 23 installments in September. Compared with the Wordle Quest storyline, NIGHTfall will be bigger, better, a little more agonizing, and a lot more fun—though not as much fun as the storyline that will follow directly afterward.

I’m hoping to involve additional authors, work the story backward and sideways, and grow the Wordlers community over time.

NIGHTvision, the first WORDLEplex story, presenting an expanded/alternate take on the Wordlers episode that changed everything, is also the first literary work to be published to five different blockchains through our publishing partners on Polygon, Optimism, Solana, MoonRiver, and Hive. 

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