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    jp's That Dragon, Cancer (PC)

    [February 17, 2019 11:16:16 PM]
    Played this all the way to the end in one sitting. I have thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the game. But I must first admit that the game was more interesting (as a game) than I imagined. I think the "walking simulator" label - especially when used pejoratively - is grossly unfair for this game. This is an easy game. I don't think anyone will have trouble getting to the end. However, there is a wide variety of interactions and interactive elements throughout. There's some platforming, and some racing, and yes, mostly a lot of (slow) walking.

    I made the mistake of playing after lunch on a day I was a bit tired. So, my experience alternated between feeling really sleepy and feeling really sad. I can't say this has happened to me with any other game, so I guess there's always a first.

    It's a tricky game to talk about because it seems like saying anything bad about it is taken as insulting either the memory of the lost child or insulting his parents' work towards memorializing his life and their struggle over the disease that cost him his life. It gets more complicated because of what I recall happened after the game was released - the dev was incensed that people were playing the game and then asking for a Steam refund because they could finish it in less time than the maximum time played set by Steam. I don't know how that all worked out in the end, but I recalle the furore was...awkward, and strange. I also think it's weird to recruit(?) your other children to participate in the game - I don't know the creator personally or his family, but it's the sort of thing that just seems odd to me. For all I know his kids demanded participation rather than were invited to participate? I guess the next step for me will be to watch the documentary - which was made while the game was being created, which is another thing that feels a bit off to me. Game dev takes time, and having everything set up such that you can go public (release a doc and a game) all while your child is sick seems...again, odd. I wish I knew more and I'll probably learn more from the documentary...but it all seems a bit selfish?

    It's one thing or a stranger to walk into someone's life with a desire to record and memorialize - hey, can we make a movie about the process your going through seems fine. Parents can choose to participate or not. But deciding to do it oneself is different. Maybe it was a way to raise funds for medical bills? I'm not sure. Maybe it was a way to make life livable during those really rough times? I'm not sure. If so, was it necessary to run a kickstarter and all the rest?

    As for the game itself - one of the things I was most surprised by was the dad talking about his wife's faith (and his as well). This was a positive surprise - when it comes to religion and faith, this isn't something that games tackle or even feature all that much. Faith/religion seems to be present only in games that are openly religion-based (e.g. tools for proselytizing or educating) or openly fantastical (e.g. clerics in D&D or gods of war and other things). But faith as the regular part of a character? I can't think of many examples. I think, if anything, this is perhaps one of the game's biggest contributions?

    I need to think some more about...
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    jp's That Dragon, Cancer (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 13 February, 2019

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 17 February, 2019

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    1 : That Dragon, Cancer (PC) by dkirschner (rating: 5)


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