Meet the Canadian behind Globle, the web’s hot new geography game

Abe Train is the creator of Globle, a popular geography guessing game that debuted in January 2022. (Supplied photo)

One of the biggest stories in international relations this week erupted when Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. For a high-ranking American to visit the disputed country, unrecognized by the United Nations because of its conflict with China, was controversial—perhaps almost as much as when 27-year-old web developer Abe Train decided to include Taiwan in his web game, Globle.

Okay, so maybe the two aren’t that comparable. But hundreds of thousands of people play Globle every day, putting real stress on Train to handle geopolitical issues from his apartment in downtown Toronto. Globle, which launched in January 2022, is one of many mimics of Wordle, the popular online word game bought by the New York Times for $1 million. Globle’s spin is geography: players guess a country, and are informed by a colour code whether the country of the day is near or far. Players then keep guessing until they find the nation in question.

Train joins today to explain what drove him to quit his day job and focus on innovative web design full-time, and how he handles hate mail over international border definitions, such as Taiwan—or the Middle East.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Production assistance by Gabrielle Nadler and YuZhu Mou. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.