Link Friday: A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever

I’m trying out something new. Since I’ve mostly stopped posting on Twitter I thought I’d try posting an interesting link each week to a long-form story that I found interesting and thought-provoking.

Playing for Time: A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever [Wired] – how a father and game developer coped with his son’s battle with cancer and eventual death by developing That Dragon, Cancer, a video game that IGN called “a crushingly intimate game that left me thankful for the people who are still in my life.” From the article, this is how early players demoing the game at PAX Prime responded:

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.

Here’s the trailer: