The craze of survival games has been around for longer than your PC. Seriously have you ever heard of Gladiators? Of course the level of drama and interpersonal relationships have been increased and highlighted as stories evolved but the core function hasn't. Still for most younger Americans it was Hunger Games that brought this back into the light. Some of us older folk may remember such classics as Battle Royale or Running Man.
A successful survival game requires a remote location which the participants cannot exit until it's over. Also a group of people who will have one goal, to annihilate each other till only one is left standing. Of course the draw is the social dynamic, as each contestant is tested to see how trusting they will be. Each knowing they will have to kill the others to survive but they some how convince themselves that they can team up and make it out alive. Then you have those of lesser scruples who will team up fully aware that they will be killing all their team mates when the opportunity is best, keep your enemies closer.
Generally people are drawn in by the violence but it's truly the social aspect that keeps them on the edge of their seats. Who will show mercy, who will go lone wolf, and who will betray who at the last minute. There are those who would like to see people cheat the system, give them hope for humanity and show there is more out there then just killers on a field. You'll see these aspects when you play Survival Games for Minecraft. When the map first loads on the server some people will start calling out for teams, looking for people to help them survive till the end. Sitting in the middle of your crowd is a large stash of chests with random items to help your survival. Everyone is gunning for the center normally when the countdown ends. Most people will make it out alive with only a few lingering too long and becoming easy pickings for their peers.
As I played this mode over the weekend it's again the social aspect that draws me in. I'm a lone wolf unless my friends are around, so you wouldn't find me teaming up but I couldn't stop watching the other people's interaction. The creativity inspired by Minecraft shows through in this game mode and so many others that people are inspired to create. Minecraft really isn't just a game for some people, it's a toy box and they love to share their toys. Check the video below if you want an example of the gameplay you can expect.