Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Games really "Survival"?

Hey, everyone. It's been a little while since my last post. I was discussing video games with some people yesterday who do not really play video games and it made me think of an interesting concept.

The Resident Evil series and the Silent Hill series are categorized as survival horror. I was playing Left 4 Dead 2 and some friends asked what kind of game it is. One of them compared it to Resident Evil and asked if it was similar. I told them I suppose because you are shooting dead things, but it is still a very different game. Then I tried to explain it and realized that I was describing a survival game except with more action.

This explanation made me think of an interesting question. What really makes a game classified as the "survival" genre? Almost any game I think of has a common not die. This goal can also be described as survive. Left 4 Dead, Oblivion, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, and many other games all share this goal. Even simple casual games have the basic idea of surviving as long as possible to get the highest score or whatever else. The only games I can think of that stray from this goal are a few strange flash games on the internet.

So what allows Resident Evil to be a "survival" game? Perhaps it is in the horror genre and horror movies are usually about surviving the "horror" in the movie. Or perhaps it's because you can get scared to death...HAHA! But really, in my opinion, I think that many games could have the category of survival attached to them. What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

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