Using game design to deal with grief

Gamification stuff we love: Using game design to deal with grief

Gamification often uses game psychology and game design for business purposes or to improve how we get results in our personal life. Ryan and Amy Green reversed this by creating a game based on a real life experience of their son being diagnosed with terminal cancer. It is a game with a very serious message and very strong emotions. They wrote the game with the ambition to have people understand what it is like to go through the roller-coaster of emotions from hope to desperation and then some. The game is due for release this week.

To help create the game, the parents held a kickstarter campaign, where people were invited to fund at different levels with the opportunity to influence the story, include their own stories and memories, to be part of the art and development team. I see it as a very collaborative way of processing experiences we may all face, which is how gamification in its’ true essence applying game design to non-game experience can also be a force for good.

On the games’ site, the game is described as: “A journey of hope in the shadow of death. An immersive narrative videogame that retells Joel Green’s 4-year fight against cancer through about two hours of poetic, imaginative gameplay that explores faith, hope and love.”

I don’t capture all the emotion as well as they can, so here are some of the videos relating to That Dragon, Cancer. The first video is the official launch trailer, the second is a documentary film trailer about this story. I highly recommend you watch both and visit the sites also to read this inspiring story for yourself and to play the game.

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For me this shows how gamification and game design can also be a source for good. If you have played the game, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.



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