If you were to drop by the Yahoo Studios office in New York City, you would notice employees playing the hottest, new computer game sweeping the nation (on our downtime of course). It's known simply as 2048. In case you have never heard of it, here's how you play. There's a square grid with 16 tiles. You have to keep combining the like numbers together using the arrow keys until a tile reaches 2048, hence the name of the game. The downside is that it seems so impossible to ever reach that number, but that won't stop you from trying at least 10,000 times.
You really have to play it to understand how addictive it is. And if you start to experience signs of a 2048 obsession, you have a 19-year-old Web developer from Italy to thank. Gabriele Cirulli created the game and released it on March 9. He says of 2048's boost to fame, "I have yet to hear stories about people fighting, breaking up, or getting fired due to my game, which is good I guess."
If you think Cirulli is rolling in the dough from the popularity of 2048, well you're wrong. Because it was an adaptation of another game called 1024, he felt it was unethical to profit from it. Cirulli also made the game open source, which left the doors open for coders to create their own spinoffs which are actually playable. There's a Doge 2048 game, which is a nod to the famous Shiba Inu meme. Someone even created a 'Dr. Who' 2048.
Cirulli's 2048 game has been played more than 50 million times. About 1 million of those plays are probably from fellow producer Henry Baker and me. We got sucked into the 2048 vortex yesterday. There's no app for the game, but luckily for us and millions of other fans, you can play it from the site right on your phone!