That Dragon, Cancer slaying hearts across the virtual reality kingdom
By Kindle Reeder —
There is little else in this world that inspires fear more than hearing the words, “You have cancer.” That is, unless you are a parent. Hearing those words about your child not only evokes that initial fear, but a fight that consumes you more than anything in this world. Without being in the shoes of these parents, we never can know the true heartache, triumphs or determination that goes into fighting such a diagnosis.
That was until Amy and Brian Green introduced us to their story. “That Dragon, Cancer” is a virtual reality game that takes you on the Green family’s journey about Joel , their one year old son who was diagnosed with a Atypical Teratoid Tumor (AT/RT) with a life expectancy of 4 months and lived until he was five years old. With a point and click model, the game takes you through the experiences Amy and Brian shared with Joel to bring a moving testament to the life of their son and share what it is really like to battle and eventually lose the fight with what is in fact, that dragon, Cancer.
Why would the family want to share such a personal experience and relive it day by day?
The goal was to create a virtual reality game in which would start a conversation, bringing those together in a safe space to talk about hard things. There is a large community for those that battle or have lost loved ones and Amy, Brian and the developers learned early on that, “when you share your heart with people, they tend to want to share their heart with you.” The game was to inspire hope, grace and bring the player into a world few people truly understand.
“That Dragon, Cancer is a video game composed of pain and hope. It is a story of my son. It is a script written day by day. It is life that moves us space by space, propelled by a mystery we call grace.” – Brian Green
What can be expected when playing?
The player takes the role of Joel’s parents in a number of abstract scenes based on Amy and Brian’s experiences raising Joel from his diagnosis to his death. They are able to interact with the characters and make choices similar to those that the Greens had to face. Some imaginative scenes are added to emphasize how they wish they could have been, an example being a wagon ride through the hospital which has been adapted into a race. Narration from Amy and Brian as well as voicemails during Joel’s life take the game to more personal level with true emotion.
About Our Guest Contributor
Kindle Lynn Reeder is a social media content writer/manager by day and a creative ninja in varied categories by night.
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