Don't let the wallpaper fool you. Underneath every game is an endless matrix of numbers that rule each and every possible action. These numbers dictate everything from how well you can swing your sword to how effectively you can shoot a gun.
Numbers don't lie: some actions are better than others. Some characters are better than others, regardless of how much you may like them as a person. Which should you care about, though?
Playing by the numbers—what I call "spreadsheet gaming"—is amazingly seductive. I don't want to win, winning is inevitable. What I want is something absolute. When I'm playing, say, Fire Emblem: Awakening (a turn-based strategy game), I want to know that whatever I do with my character is the best move possible.