'That Dragon, Cancer' update: Real life-inspired video game to be released this month

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When parents get stricken by heartache with the death of their child, different inspirations come to mind to make his memory stay alive for as long as it takes. And that is exactly what Joel Green’s parents, Ryan and Amy, did after his death.

After over four years of fighting against cancer, five-year-old Joel succumbed to his deathbed in March 2014. His parents were devastated, but they did not give up. For his remembrance, his father developed a touching game, for which they successfully raised $104,000 at the end of 2014 through a Kickstarter campaign.

Now they are ready to release it on PC, Mac, and Ouya on Jan. 12. And since it would have been Joel’s seventh birthday, his parents want the release to be celebrated with a pancake party.

“Since it is Joel’s birthday, we wanted to do something Joel would have enjoyed to celebrate the launch. We want to have a worldwide pancake party on January 12th. (Joel loved pancakes and waffles!),” they wrote on their Kickstarter update.

One can join the celebration by posting pancake photos to social media with the hashtag #ThatDragonCancer on the date of the game’s release.

The game’s trailer itself is heartbreaking, as most people who have watched it agreed. But that does not mean it is going to be a boring game. According to the developers, it is an immersive adventure game filled with narrative poetry that could hold players’ interest until the end.

One can know more about the “That Dragon, Cancer” by watching Thank You for Playing, a documentary that follows the development of the game. It was directed by veteran filmmakers David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall and first appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

The game will be priced at $14.99. Pre-orders can also be made at the game’s official website.