It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A father, a dying son, and the quest to build the most profound video game ever

page: 1
4

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 09:05 AM
link   


Green began working on That Dragon, Cancer in November 2012. Joel, who had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer just after his first birthday, was approaching the age of 4. Green and his wife, Amy, lifelong devout Christians, saw this longevity as a miracle; back in November 2010, when Joel developed a new tumor after several rounds of chemotherapy, the doctors had declared him terminal, placed him on palliative care, and given him at most four months to live. The Greens had spent much of the next two years celebrating small victories and enduring crushing setbacks. Tumors that shrank, or even disappeared, then reemerged with greater vigor months later. Steroids that filled Joel with a powerful rage. A tumor that pressed on Joel’s optic nerve, causing his right eye to turn inward.

Source

That Dragon, Cancer is pretty special. The game is ready to release this month and is designed to engage the player in ways that you might not expect. The toughest part about playing this game is knowing that Joel eventually dies before its over. Here were a few reactions from PAX...


They wait somberly in line: cosplayers, young women, middle-aged men. They sit in front of the monitor, put on the Bose noise-canceling headphones, and pick up the Xbox controller. Fifteen minutes later they stand and push back from the table. Many of them affect sheepish grins, rise quietly, walk off abruptly without making eye contact. A few get misty-eyed, clearly shaken, collecting themselves before they leave. And then there’s the developer who starts weeping and says, “I don’t want to be here at PAX; I want to be home with my kids.” The couple whose own daughter survived cancer and who have followed the game’s development for years. The boy who staggers away from the screen as if emerging from a particularly punishing roller coaster.

“Are you OK?” Green asks.

“It’s just so sad,” the boy says in a hushed tone, staring off. He wanders away, dazed. A few minutes later he returns to collect the backpack he has inadvertently left behind.

I highly encourage you to watch the video, not found on YouTube, at the bottom of Wired's article titled, That Dragon, Cancer Excerpt. It was the first scene that Ryan wrote after being inspired to create such a beautiful tribute to his son. Knowing that Ryan, the father, had lived through that exact experience gave weight to the emotion I was feeling. I can only imagine what was being felt by Ryan at that moment. Keep a tissue handy, lol...


Green’s idea to make a videogame about Joel came to him in church, as he reflected on a harrowing evening a couple of years earlier when Joel was dehydrated and diarrheal, unable to drink anything without vomiting it back up, feverish, howling, and inconsolable, no matter how Green tried to soothe him. He had made a few games since then and had been thinking about mechanics, the rules that govern how a player interacts with and influences the action on the screen. “There’s a process you develop as a parent to keep your child from crying, and that night I couldn’t calm Joel,” Green says. “It made me think, ‘This is like a game where the mechanics are subverted and don’t work.’”

How do you keep yourself grounded when your child is dying and needs you the most? Seeing your child suffer and being powerless to comfort them is a feeling I never wish to experience. Count your blessings everybody, life is precious.




posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 09:12 AM
link   
a reply to: eisegesis

Oh, that's a game people should play, but I don't know if I could.



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 09:15 AM
link   
a reply to: eisegesis




posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 11:57 AM
link   
Maybe I'm missing something from the articles but isn't it a little tasteless to make a "for profit" game off the death of your own son and cancer ? Seems to be no mention of any proceeds going towards a charity so I'm a little confused about where exactly the money goes beyond paying development costs as they raised over $100k on the kickstarter and it's going to be for sale at $15 which although no a lot when it comes to game development for a 2 man dev team should sufficient. I get the coping mechanism of all this for the father, I just don't get the money side



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 12:08 PM
link   
Sorry to hear they are blending video games with cancer patients...but I am going to keep playing my Destiny & Black Ops thanks.



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 12:14 PM
link   
Art Game.

Not my kind of leisurely activity.

May it find those who do.



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 02:30 PM
link   

originally posted by: Lysergic
Art Game.

Not my kind of leisurely activity.

May it find those who do.


Not my type of game either, but the interesting result of someones difficulty to cope.

I always knew you hated kids with cancer, lol.



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 02:33 PM
link   
what a sad example posters thus far have made of ats, so much negativity and insensitivity. this man went through such a traumatic experience and used game development to keep him sane, artistically painting his grief into the portrait of the game so as to have an outlet that worked for him, if you cant have an appreciation for at least that, then why bother posting your negativity to this thread?

i think this game, though the graphics may be basic, and though its story sad, it is beautiful,

i have always believed games are an artistic medium, and art is nothing but pure expression, in that aim this man has accomplished what very few have, true experience being expressed in a way that efficiently touches the heart of the participant.

i will certainly be buying a copy on steam when it comes out in 2 days, even if only to help support a grieving father.
edit on 1/10/16 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 02:38 PM
link   
NVM
edit on 10-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2016 @ 07:02 PM
link   
a reply to: eisegesis

Those who have lived a life already probably do not need to play this. For them, it would be like a mentally devastating run through the Kobayashi Maru test. For those who do not yet know they have been born however? Essential.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 03:35 PM
link   

originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: eisegesis

Those who have lived a life already probably do not need to play this. For them, it would be like a mentally devastating run through the Kobayashi Maru test. For those who do not yet know they have been born however? Essential.


I already have enough trauma in my life why add something else? Sure I send coldolences out to he child and his family but Sorry Im not going to play obvious suicide fuel.(sad stuff that makes you think of suicide that is)



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 09:30 PM
link   
Pretty incredible idea. I really dont think they are trying to make money off cancer and the death of their child, as one poster said. I think its the families way of sharing their story. Perhaps creating awareness and finding a way to keep the memory of Joel alive. To many it will be just a video game, to some it will be a rememberance of the struggles that family faced. Along with the positive outlook and the glimmer of hope that once was.



new topics

top topics



 
4

log in

join