Meredith MacMartin, a palliative care doctor in New Hampshire, recently posted about the video game That Dragon, Cancer. The developer website describes the game like this:
“… an adventure game that acts as a living painting; a poem; an interactive retelling of Ryan and Amy Green’s experience raising their son Joel, a 4-year-old currently fighting his third year of terminal cancer. Players relive memories, share heartache, and discover the overwhelming hope that can be found in the face of death.”
Meredith’s post provides insight into the difficult decisions and emotions that occur in an intensive care unit (ICU). She shares her thoughts on how playing a video game might affect the decision-making process. I highly recommend you read this: Experience Cancer through a Video Game.
Boy Resting concept art © Copyright 2012–2013. Media Greenhouse & God at play
* In keeping with full disclosure, Meredith MacMartin is my sister-in-law.
What strikes me is that many of the games we play when we were children are reconstructions or imaginings of what we think adult life may be like, from playing house to cops-and-robbers. Even some of the most imaginative and fantastic games we played are extensions of the personalities and traits we want to possess in extraordinary circumstances. So by extension, it makes sense that there are games we can play now as adults that help us empathize– to imagine the difficult and impossibly surreal experience of having to outlive your child.