That Dragon, Cancer is a poetic, emotionally intense story of love in the face of death, blended beautifully into a point-and-click adventure game. It tells a true tale, unfortunately, of developer Ryan Green's family life – his 4-year-old son, Joel, has cancer, and he's currently fighting his eighth tumor. Joel has survived two years of treatments, surpassing doctors' initial estimates, and Green has transformed his pain into a beautiful, introspective game.
That Dragon, Cancer doesn't naturally fit into the standard idea of E3, but it isn't out of place in the PC circle of IndieCade's exhibit space. It tells a traumatic story, but in the end it's a simple, gorgeous game.
Green explains his intent with That Dragon, Cancer, and I take a deep breath and dive into a part of it. That Dragon, Cancer is a living game, in every sense of the word – it's still being written, by real events, every day. See the Green family's efforts and development process on the game's website.
IndieCade is always a refreshing experience at E3, and this year in particular was full of surprises. Check out the other games I highlighted this week right here.