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Thank You For Playing


When Ryan, a video game designer, learns that his young son Joel has cancer, he and his wife begin documenting their emotional journey in the form of an unusual and poetic video game. The result is a game called “That Dragon, Cancer” – an astoundingly honest and innovative work of art about the universal complexity of grief. Thank You For Playing follows Ryan and his family over two years, offering an intimate, revolutionary glimpse into how the fusion of art and technology – in this case, a video game – can document profound human experiences in the modern age.


  • IndieWire
    The result is at once a fascinating take on technological innovation and a stirring look at its ability to address personal experiences. It's a remarkable look at universal challenges through a distinctly 21st century filter.
  • Unwinnable
    The most important videogame movie ever made.
    Alec Kubas-Meyer
  • Video Librarian
    The film scores high marks for showing a father and mother’s unique paths of grief and transcendence. Highly recommended.
    Charles Cassady
  • Nonfics
    "Thank You for Playing’ Is a Heartfelt Meditation on Parenting, Cancer and Nonfiction Art
    Daniel Walber
  • Screencomment
    Some of the most heart-breaking moments at the Tribeca Festival. As an exploration of the human spirit, this film is indispensable.
    Nathanael Hood
  • National Post
    "Thank You for Playing" is an elegant, heart-wrenching documentary statement that games are art."
  • The Upcoming
    "An intelligent, brave and authentic meditation on grief and the artistic process."
    Mahmud El Shafey

Festival Participation

  • Tribeca Film Festival - 2015
  • Hot Docs - 2015
  • Camden International Film Festival - 2015
  • Festival do Rio - 2015
  • Antenna Documentary Film Festival - 2015
  • United Nations Association Film Festival - 2015
  • San Fransisco Doc Stories - 2015
  • St. Louis International Film Festival - 2015
  • IDFA - 2015
  • Tromso International Film Festival - 2016
  • ZagrebDox - 2016
  • One World - 2016

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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