POV: Thank You for Playing

About This Episode

“When you’re creating art there’s a level of abstraction. There’s a certain escape." But “you can’t escape forever.”

For 18 months, filmmakers David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall followed video game programmer Ryan Green as he created a game called “That Dragon, Cancer,” recruiting his wife and sons into the process of documenting their daily life for this unusual work of art. Combining footage from both Ryan’s real and animated worlds, Thank You for Playing is a thought-provoking portrait of one family’s determination to respond to an impending tragedy through artistic expression.

Challenging the stereotypical view of video games as superficial or violent, the film reveals a new movement within the gaming world to create projects that document profound human experiences while telling a deeply moving love story of a husband and wife helping to keep each other afloat. The video game itself becomes a poetic exploration of a father’s relationship with his son, an interactive painting and a vivid window into the minds of grieving parents.