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*Ants* can step over this bar.

When everyone's a survival game, no one is. Or something.

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When building a fire, tinder refers to any materials that are easily combustible. In our new series, I'll ignite discussions with short, provocative opinions to spark conversation. Ground rules: Your opinions, pushback, and thoughts are welcome, but be nice to your fellow commenters.

Did anyone else notice that the bar to (admittedly, self-label) survival is lower than ever? A few years ago, I feel like it was a little more uncommon to see folks pushing back against the 'survival' tag being haphazardly applied to titles- I'd see comments on Reddit but regular herd-style cheerleading on Steam or YouTube.

But lately, I'm seeing more pushback from players, on Steam especially, about dumbing games down to where it's less survival and more simulation- and a boring one at that.

It seems like the bar has lowered to: Does the game have one of the following criteria because then hot shit damn, you are VERY survival!

  • Food. Even magical food that restores your HP or heals broken legs.
  • Are you crafting or building anything? Anything at all. Ignore that MMOs, RPGs, and other titles have had you crafting tools and weapons for ages.
  • Zombies. (I have had conversations with indie developers who have explained that it is a survival title because they have aggressive AI that are zombies.)
  • Are you trying to avoid dying. (Does that sound like any game ever? You may be right!)

Is there some uncertainty that survival - looking at the term outside of gaming- should require a certain amount of complexity or hardship?

If survival in these titles is the player flooded with food and weapons that trivialize any possible negatives- what the fuck makes it different from every adventure or action game already out there?

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