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Between Symbolism and Gaming: A Story of Culture, Fashion but Also Mystery

Between Symbolism and Gaming: A Story of Culture, Fashion but Also Mystery

When you search for the word “symbol” in any dictionary, you’ll find a definition something like this: “a sign corresponding to particular or universal contents or values.” Some examples are also given: the flag as a symbol of the homeland, a character as a symbol of certain values, the hearth as a symbol of the family. Yet, this is not enough to understand the true and ultimate meaning of a symbol, a word that originates in Greece, of course, and refers to an object that was broken irregularly into two parts, so that the owner of one of the parts could be recognized by matching them perfectly.

Symbols in the Gaming World

Source: pinterest.cl

In short, the true meaning of a symbol is its communicative power, an element that serves to hide meanings beneath its appearance. And we are surrounded by symbols everywhere, often even where we least notice them. For example, in the world of gaming. Yes, because in the gaming and video game industry, symbols are widely used. Just think of the symbolic value of Pacman, the all-yellow dot-eater who is one of the icons of video game history, or the Super Mario Mushroom, the mushroom that makes the protagonist of the famous Nintendo game grow. The buttons on the Play Station joystick are also a symbol, the quartet of triangle, circle, cross, and square that have the power to open unknown worlds, as well as the stylized X of the Xbox.

But the symbols we find in gaming are also central in bar slot machines: “here, symbols are fundamental in operation, since the goal is precisely to obtain winning combinations on the reels that appear on the screen”, explains Giada Benazzi of SlotMania. “If initially, the typical symbols were golden bells, the very famous red number 7, different types of fruit (lemons and grapes, oranges and bananas), today we have moved on to different symbols, faces borrowed from the scenario in which the slot is set or taken from other elements. What is certain is that these symbols have now entered the minds of many players (and not only) becoming real emblems of gambling”, SlotMania’s expert concludes.

Mysteries and Pop Culture in Gaming

Source: reviewgeek.com

But the story of symbols and gaming does not end here, because it is a story that brings together pop culture and fashion, but often also a good dose of mystery. The most famous dates back to 2016, when an anonymous symbol, known as eye.jpg, appeared in a series of seemingly unrelated video games. The first to notice it was Crypt of the Necrodancer fan Alex Bellavia, who immediately shared it on social media, starting a sort of treasure hunt. A term that is quite fitting since the image actually joined with the patches of other video games to create a sort of map. What it led to, however, has not yet been discovered. It will remain a mystery, a mystery forever hidden in the symbols of video games.

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