Thank You For Playing

PBS Premiere: Oct. 24, 2016Check the broadcast schedule »

Filmmaker Statement

Interactive media and video games are emerging as a wildly innovative art form. At the same time, society is questioning our dependence on technology more than ever: It seems to be bringing us at once closer together and yet further apart. We are fascinated by this tension, which is why we set out to make Thank You for Playing.

From the moment we first heard about Ryan and Amy Green's video game, "That Dragon, Cancer," we wanted to know more about why the couple had chosen a medium so often associated with explosions and violence to convey one of the most emotional and spiritually challenging experiences a family can face: raising a young child with a terrible disease. Once we saw for ourselves how many people were profoundly moved by the game, and how playing it often facilitated more, rather than less, social interaction, we were hooked and knew we had to keep following this story. The fact that a video game was capable of awakening this sort of empathy astounded us, and we soon realized that Ryan isn't only a video game developer, he's also an artist--and programming is his paintbrush.

Thank You for Playing explores the very personal experiences of a family battling cancer and the beauty and hope that can be found in the artistic process, while also examining the age-old question of where the boundaries lie in representing difficult emotional experiences in art. Ultimately, we hope the film will challenge people to reexamine their own assumptions about bereavement, technology, video games and art.

David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Directors/Producers/Editors