GameSetWatch has a post about Hunter College's Tiltfactor research group and their "Values at Play" project. Basically it is a research lab based around creating socially conscious video games.
It's something I knew somebody else had to have thought of but which I'd had trouble finding anything about. I think I was using the search term "political," which brought me to a bunch of "UN simulator" type games, when I should have been looking for "activist" games.
In any case, there are people working on activist games (the post links to Hush, and it's pretty amazing), and there are definitely people, mostly academics, talking about activist games. There's some good stuff.