.blend1 , .blend2 saves/ files? what is this?

in my saves folder i have … like “animationWorks.blend” , “animationWorks.blend1” “animationWorks.blend2”
the 1 and 2 is auto there…

what is this for?

… i hope its like, i made maps for call of duty… sometimes, messing around i can add some things that crash the file, and make the maps file unreadable… destroying all progress,

is this auto backup to fight that? (ive been making backups my self too) … that would be cool! lol … but what is it exactly? … my filesize is larger needing multi files? im new, wanna learn all i can about blender.
thanks…

They are save versions

Set the number in user preferences http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Vitals/Undo_and_Redo#Save_and_Auto_Save

This feature is cool but it left a lot of extra files in your project folder, Is there a way to specify a save versions directory? e.g:
//saveVersions/<fileName>/fileName.blend1

I would love that. This way of saving versions would end my necessity to F2 + “plus” save, leaving only my main blend files in my project folder.