Thank You for
David Osit and Malika
Zouhali-Worrall, 80 minutes, Documentary, In English, USA, 2015
Ryan and Amy Green learned
that their baby son Joel’s rare cancer was terminal – they were
devastated. Searching for a way to explore his feelings, Ryan, an
indie video game developer, found solace in the most appropriate
creative outlet he knew: a video game.
“Thank You For Playing”
follows Ryan as he creates a game called “That Dragon, Cancer,” and
recruits his wife and sons into the process of documenting their
daily life for this unusual work of art. His video game is a poetic
exploration of a father’s relationship with his son, an interactive
painting, a vivid window into the mind of a grieving parent.
Throughout his creative
process, Ryan must decide where to draw the line in sharing his
family’s experiences of raising a dying child. From having his sons
reenact difficult conversations, to recording Joel’s giggle, to
painstakingly photographing every detail of the hospital, Ryan’s
life becomes consumed by the complicated process of creating a
digital world that mirrors his own.
Combining footage from both Ryan’s real and animated worlds, this
film follows his journey of encoding his life into an experience
that is “playable” by others, as he continues to care for his son.
The film’s World Premiere
was at Tribeca Film Festival. It has won Best Documentary award at
Twin Cities Film Festival and Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary
award at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The film was screened
at Cleveland International Film Festival and Cinema Eye Honors