The Significance of Numbers in Video Games

Despite their numerical value, there’s a greater significance surrounding numbers and various forms of gaming than many people realize. Although a lot has changed in the industry throughout the 21st century, the subtle integration of numbers has stayed consistent. From casino-centered developments to mainstream console creations, the application of in-game digits varies greatly, with some seeking to adopt an under-the-radar approach. So, let’s take a look at the use of numbers across diverse gaming streams.

A New Trend of Numbers-Oriented Games?

Upon considering numbers in games, the first that comes to mind is likely to be bingo. With its origins dating back to the 1500s in Italy, the much-loved pastime has established itself as a staple of modern-day society, especially following its digital success. Having sought a web-based future during the mid-1990s, the contemporary outlook of bingo is a testament to the significance of numbers.

Because of its progression, if you’re now wondering how many numbers in bingo exist in each variant, it ranges from a traditional 90-ball format to 80 and 75-ball variants. Not only that, but Paddy Power’s 36-ball Cash Cube games add another dimension to the classic marking-oriented activity. Combined with the fact that each number has its own nickname, the significance of digits in bingo is there for all to see.

Interestingly, the numbers-heavy style of bingo has recently transferred into game design for mainstream console titles. Released in March 2020 on PC and Nintendo Switch, Murder by Numbers is a Mediatonic creation that uses nonograms as its core mechanic. Solving the numerical grid-formatted puzzles enables players to progress through the story as the title’s protagonist, Honor Mizrahi, in seeking to uncover the truths of numerous murder cases.

Their Significance Goes Somewhat Under the Radar

While the above examples are reflective of the ever-growing digital capabilities to center game creation around numbers, numerical components have long gone under the radar in the gaming industry. In fact, one of the most popular games ever released is, in many ways, quite literally built on numbers. Since its release in 2009, approximately 200 million copies of Minecraft have sold, making it the second-highest selling game of all time behind Tetris, as per Digital Trends.

The more time that players put into the game, the more likely they are to see the number 64. Although it has no special hidden meaning, the digit represents the total number of identical items that make up one full stack in the inventory. Interestingly, according to a report by GameFAQs, Mojang’s insistence on 64 makes sense from a practicality standpoint. As the number is divisible by seven other digits, it’s easy for players to organize their inventories and chests ahead of in-game activities, such as building, crafting, smelting, and much more.

Is This Pattern Here to Stay?

Irrespective of the game, most modern-day developments will feature an array of numbers for one reason or another. Because of its over-500-year-old origins, bingo’s successful use of digits has somewhat been the catalyst for the component’s ever-growing role in diverse gaming streams. As such, titles like Murder by Number may become more common throughout the next decade and beyond.

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