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That Dragon, Cancer co-dev: “You chose to love us through our grief”

Ryan Green gave a heartfelt acceptance speech as tale of child cancer picked up Game Award

The co-developer of That Dragon, Cancer and father of a child lost to cancer at just five years old, has thanked the games industry for supporting his project.

Ryan Green took to the stage at last night's The Game Awards 2017 to pick up the accolade in the Games For Impact category, where he offered tearful words of thanks, Eurogamer reports.

Released at the beginning of this year, That Dragon, Cancer is the autobiographical tale of Ryan's son Joel, who suffered from cancer at an incredibly young age. Green and his family worked with friends, partners and games developers to tell Joel's story while the illness was still in its early stages, but the boy sadly passed away before the game was completed.

Green thanked the industry and his supporters for making the game possible.

"Often in video games we get to choose how we're seen," he said. "Our avatars, and our tweets, and the work that we do are all meant to portray the story that that we want to tell the world about why our lives matter. But sometimes a story is written onto us, or it's told because of us, or in spite of us, and it reveals our weaknesses, our failures, our hopes, and our fears.

"You let us tell the story of my son Joel. And in the end, it was not the story that we wanted to tell. But you chose to love us through our grief, by being willing to stop, and to listen, and to not turn away. To let my son Joel's life change you because you chose to see him, and to experience how we loved him.

"And I have hope that when we are all willing to see each other, not for just who we want to be, but who we are, and who we're meant to be - this act of love, and this act of grace, can change the world."

In addition to his business partner Josh Larson and the team who developed the game, Green thanked "our friends who are at Ouya, our over 3,000 Kickstarter backers, Indie Fund and this entire industry [that] believed this should exist".

Watch the moment for yourself here.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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