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Parents Create a Video Game for Their Ailing Young Son in ‘Thank You for Playing’

Parents Create a Video Game for Their Ailing Young Son in 'Thank You for Playing'

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

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Thank You for Playing

Logline: We follow Ryan & his wife Amy over 2 years as they build a beautiful & unusual videogame about their son with cancer. The film offers an intimate glimpse into how the fusion of art & technology can document profound human experiences in the modern age.

Elevator Pitch: 
When Ryan learns that his young son Joel has cancer, he and his wife begin documenting their emotional journey in the form of an unusual and poetic video game. The result is a game called “That Dragon, Cancer” – an astoundingly honest and innovative work of art. Following Ryan’s family through the creation of the game, David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s latest film is a thought-provoking testimony to the empathetic power of art, examining how we process grief through technology in the twenty-first century, and the implications of documenting profound human experiences in a new artistic medium: the video game.

Production Team:

Directed & Produced by: David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Edited by: David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Cinematographer & Composer: David Osit

Ryan Cousins
Ryan Green
Josh Larson

Featuring original material from the game “That Dragon, Cancer”

About the Film:

“That Dragon, Cancer” comes at a time when videogames are emerging as an innovative art form, even as society is questioning humans’ relationship with technology. We were fascinated by this tension – we wanted to understand why Ryan chose videogames — a medium often associated with violence — to convey such emotional, private experiences. Once we saw how moved people were by the game, we knew we had to make this film. That a videogame could awaken this sort of empathy astounded us; it didn’t take long to realize that Ryan is an artist, and programming is his paintbrush.

Current Status: We are raising funds via Kickstarter for our upcoming theatrical release and community screening campaign.

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