The game of grief

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here!

Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section.

That Dragon, Cancer (PC, Mac)


Many people pretend to know how you should grieve. Endless self-help books and articles give instructions on what’s “normal” and “healthy” and “expected.” But in an actual experience of grief, you learn something much more terrifying: there are no rules for losing a loved one. No one knows how to get through it. That agonizing uncertainty is about the only commonality. Whether you scream or stay silent, feel numb or like you’re on fire—everyone grieves differently, each experience as senseless and unsatisfying as the last. Stricken with the prospect of losing their their five-year-old son to brain cancer, the Green family decided to make a videogame. In a medium too-often conflated with power fantasies, goals, and high scores, Amy and Ryan Green created a story about hope in the face of defeat. That Dragon, Cancer follows their family into the belly of terminal illness, and the impossible love and optimism that you must find in the wake of insurmountable loss.

Perfect for: Cancer survivors, caregivers, grievers

Playtime: A couple hours

drowning_dragon cancer