Beyond Entertainment: 10 Games That Tackle Important Social Issues – JBL Tone

Beyond Entertainment: 10 Games That Tackle Important Social Issues


While games are often seen as a form of entertainment, they also have the power to tackle important social issues, spark meaningful conversations, and inspire change. From exploring themes of identity and discrimination to addressing environmental concerns and mental health issues, games can serve as powerful tools for raising awareness and fostering empathy. In this article, we’ll delve into ten games that go beyond entertainment to tackle important social issues, shedding light on diverse topics and inspiring players to think critically about the world around them.

1. “That Dragon, Cancer”

“That Dragon, Cancer” is an autobiographical game that explores the emotional journey of a family coping with a child’s terminal illness. Through a series of vignettes and interactive scenes, players experience the highs and lows of the family’s struggle, offering a poignant and deeply personal perspective on grief, loss, and the power of love in the face of adversity.

2. “Papers, Please”

“Papers, Please” puts players in the role of an immigration officer tasked with processing paperwork and verifying identities at a border checkpoint. As players navigate the bureaucratic challenges of the job, they’re forced to confront ethical dilemmas, moral ambiguity, and the human cost of political oppression, offering a sobering look at the complexities of immigration and authoritarianism.

3. “This War of Mine”

“This War of Mine” is a survival game that puts players in the shoes of civilians trapped in a war-torn city. As they struggle to survive amidst the chaos and violence of armed conflict, players must make difficult decisions, scavenge for resources, and navigate the moral dilemmas of survival at any cost. Through its harrowing portrayal of war’s impact on ordinary people, “This War of Mine” offers a sobering reminder of the human toll of armed conflict.

4. “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”

“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” follows the journey of Senua, a Celtic warrior struggling with psychosis as she embarks on a quest to save the soul of her beloved. Through its immersive audio design and depiction of Senua’s hallucinations, the game offers players a visceral and empathetic glimpse into the experience of living with mental illness, challenging stigma and misconceptions along the way.

5. “Life is Strange” Series

The “Life is Strange” series tackles a range of important social issues, including bullying, suicide, drug addiction, and LGBTQ+ identity. Through its episodic narrative and player-driven choices, the series explores the complexities of adolescence, friendship, and personal agency, encouraging players to confront difficult topics and consider the consequences of their actions.

6. “Gone Home”

“Gone Home” is a narrative exploration game that tells the story of a young woman returning home to uncover the mysteries surrounding her family’s disappearance. As players explore the empty halls of the family home, they uncover clues, piece together the story, and confront themes of identity, sexuality, and acceptance in a deeply personal and evocative narrative.

7. “Celeste”

“Celeste” is a platformer that follows the journey of a young woman named Madeline as she climbs the eponymous mountain, confronting her inner demons along the way. Through its challenging gameplay and heartfelt storytelling, “Celeste” explores themes of mental health, self-acceptance, and perseverance, offering players a deeply resonant and empowering experience.

8. “Undertale”

“Undertale” is a role-playing game that subverts traditional RPG tropes and challenges players to confront the consequences of their actions. Through its innovative mechanics and branching narrative, the game explores themes of violence, empathy, and the power of kindness, encouraging players to consider the impact of their choices on the world around them.

9. “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons”

“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” is a narrative-driven adventure game that follows the journey of two brothers on a quest to save their dying father. Through its innovative control scheme and poignant storytelling, the game explores themes of grief, family, and the bonds that unite us, offering a moving and immersive experience that resonates long after the credits roll.

10. “The Last of Us” Series

“The Last of Us” series explores a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a fungal infection, focusing on themes of survival, morality, and the human condition. Through its gripping narrative and complex characters, the series challenges players to confront difficult ethical choices, explore the depths of human resilience, and grapple with the consequences of their actions in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are these games suitable for all ages?
While many of these games offer valuable insights and tackle important social issues, they may contain mature themes and content that may not be suitable for all ages. Be sure to check the content ratings and descriptions before playing.

Where can I purchase these games?
These games are available for purchase digitally through platforms like Steam, GOG, or the respective console storefronts.

Do these games offer multiple endings?
Some of these games offer branching narratives and multiple endings, providing ample replay value for players.

Are these games available on multiple platforms?
Yes, many of these games are available on multiple platforms, including PC, consoles, and sometimes even mobile devices.

Can I play these games with friends?
While some of these games offer multiplayer or cooperative modes, many are designed as single-player experiences focused on narrative storytelling.

Do I need a powerful gaming PC to play these games?
While some of these games may benefit from a high-end gaming PC, many are optimized to run on a variety of hardware configurations, including older systems.

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