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E3 – That Dragon, Cancer Hands-On Preview

That Dragon Cancer

I was looking forward to my trip to the IndieCade booth this afternoon, but I wasn’t expecting to have my life changed. Samuel, the head of the company, gave Yami and me a quick rundown of some of the titles they have on offer. One of the ones he mentioned was called That Dragon, Cancer which definitely intrigued me. Yami had to run out to do something, so I strolled over to see what this game was all about. I met Ryan Green, this game’s creator. He explained that That Dragon, Cancer is inspired by a true story — his son’s. You see, his young boy was diagnosed and given two months to live. He is still hanging in there two years later but as Mr. Green said, “He still has cancer, so…” He said that this game is an ongoing project documenting his son’s medical struggles, and that he is working on it as a coping mechanism.


I sat down with trepidation to try out this game. It is a point and click adventure which takes place in a hospital room. You play as a father of a young boy with cancer whose objective is to move around the room and care for him. As you observe the environment, dialogue appears revealing his inner thoughts and guiding you through the story. As time passes in the game the need to comfort and attend to the child becomes a priority, and it achieves a level of raw emotional power that it makes me laugh thinking about EA’s repeated use of the word ‘authenticity’ to describe their games this week.

I finished my playthrough of That Dragon, Cancer and approached Mr. Green to thank him for sharing that game and that I wished his family all the best. I got as far as ‘Thank you…” before I burst into tears right there on the show floor. He hugged me.

I highly recommend you find out more about That Dragon, Cancer here.

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