Insurt is a game of two stories, one of which is hidden until it is revealed at the end. The surface story, is that of the cube’s search for some sort of material reward at the end of the game. The ghosts interactions with the cube criticize it for not appreciating the environment, and just trying finish the game as quickly as possible (without appreciating the journey).
In world 5 exists an interaction with the ghost, who scolds the cube for its use of the lantern. The ghost is responsible for the darkness and setting in world 5, in an attempt to force the cube to realize all that it’s missing in terms of the environment it’s ignoring. From the ghost’s perspective, use of the lantern is a temporary solution to the more profound problem of the cube’s lack of appreciation for the journey, and focus on the end material reward.
The lantern represents (and is a symbol of) the ghost’s kind who were initially responsible for the destruction of the environment that the cube must now traverse, resulting in a scarcity of resources which the cube is searching for. Life is about the journey, not the end reward. In the world 7 cutscene, the ghost critiques and reflects on the cube’s decisions.
The cube represents the player’s desire for an end reward. In the final world 9 cutscene, the cube moves autonomously, demonstrating it’s disconnect from the player’s actions. The player is on a journey of self-discovery, which is revealed in the final cutscene. The cube was on a quest for an end reward, while the player was on a journey for their own entertainment, which comes to and end with the final cutscene. This story is an allegory for player’s scarcity of time and appreciation for games that are an experience, not just a problem to solve with a reward at the end.
Initially, the ghost saw the cube as reckless and unappreciative. Through the game, the ghost made attempts to force the blue cube to recognize and appreciate its environment, and recognize its previous lack thereof, but to no avail. The ghost’s view on the cube changes as it realizes that the cube is being controlled by the player, someone who it appreciates for spending their scarce time playing the game. In the final cutscene, the ghost addresses the player directly, and released the cube to continue it’s search for a material reward independently.
The theme of scarcity plays into the ghosts view on the player. The ghost recognizes the player’s scarcity of time to experience the game, and learns to appreciate their participation. The cube, seperate from the player, has a scarcity of resources, which is the initial reason for the story to begin in the first place. Or was it.. because the player decided to start the game?