How Survival Themes Save the Management Games from Themselves

In the past year, I’ve started finding stressful survival games oddly meditative.

Maybe it’s because I ran through all of my “chill” games, poisoning them with optimization. My Stardew Valley farms used to be bucolic, but by year three have become packed with ancient fruit distillery equipment, diamond-filled crystalariums, and several dozen truffle hunting pigs. I sabotaged my Animal Crossing run with a Stalk Market obsession, and psyching myself out of using terraforming tools after watching beautiful island tours on YouTube.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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