In a heartfelt speech at last night’s The Game Awards 2017, Ryan Green offered tearful words of thanks to the games industry for supporting the game he co-developed, That Dragon, Cancer, the autobiographical story of his son Joel’s battle with the disease.
Green was on stage to pick up his award in the Games For Impact category when he thanked the industry and supporters.
"Often in video games we get to choose how we’re seen," he said in his acceptance speech. "Our avatars, and our tweets, and the work that we do are all meant to portray the story that that we want to tell the world about why our lives matter. But sometimes a story is written onto us, or it’s told because of us, or in spite of us, and it reveals our weaknesses, our failures, our hopes, and our fears."
"You let us tell the story of my son Joel. And in the end, it was not the story that we wanted to tell. But you chose to love us through our grief, by being willing to stop, and to listen, and to not turn away. To let my son Joel’s life change you because you chose to see him, and to experience how we loved him."
Green and his family teamed up with friends and game developers to try to tell Joel’s story while the illness was still in the very early stages, but as the game progressed so too did Joel’s cancer, and he sadly passed away before the game was completed.