We The Giants
While there's decades of evidence for the ability of a game's social commentary to affect us, there's few games that go the extra mile and add intentional meaning. A game can subtly play with important ideas, but explicitly evoking those ideas to provide meaning to the player seems to be a bit too far for most games.
The occasional quirky title decides to buck the trend and go all out. Instead of trying to subtly play with an idea in the background, it instead chooses to put the meaning and context of the game at the forefront. These “message games” are not just trying to have a little fun, but also to say something meaningful to the player.
We The Giants is a simple, quick little message game where you play as one of a race of little cube people who always refer to themselves as “we the giants.” You are introduced to their rituals, first exploration, then clairvoyance, then finally sacrifice. When you sacrifice yourself, you are allowed to leave behind a bit of “wisdom” for the ages in the form of a bit of text, then your body becomes a building block among all the other bodies of the other people that have played the game.
You can follow the “wisdom” left behind by other players at their Twitter accounts. If you go there, you'll also see why I put “wisdom” in quotes.
Why You Should Check This Out – We The Giants is a message game – light on the game but heavy on the message. You are asked to sacrifice yourself for the good of the rest of your race, in order to build something bigger than just your character. It makes for a short, quick game. But sometimes meaningful games require you to do things that aren't about getting the highest score, but instead are about learning the message. In other words, they have to sacrifice fun in order to get at some ideas that are bigger than fun.