2016 Gaming Awards – Get Shorty Award – That Dragon, Cancer
As silly or snarky as this list can get, any giant collection of stories that reminds people what happened in 2016 gaming can’t forget the incredibly dark, difficult journey through life, death, acceptance, and faith that That Dragon, Cancer brought players to.
The passing of a child is tough enough for a parent. To use the small time left with your child to create an undying memory of their young life with said child is incredibly courageous, and you can feel the heart ripped asunder and poured into this project.
That Dragon, Cancer is a shot game, but anything more would be overexplained, or narratively simplified. It’s a very surreal experience, as it often represents emotional turmoil and befuddled feelings in an almost psychedelic fashion. It has to be like this, as confronting the cruel reality that life would be taken from this young boy long before his prime is too harrowing for the player.
Hell, I’ve broken down and cried several times during my time with That Dragon, Cancer, even when putting up those barriers and focusing, as much as I could, on the idea that it was “just a game.” It’s much more than that for Numinous Games, as they succinctly paint a picture of their life and times with Joel in a short little package worthy of opening up on a brave day.
Runner-up: Firewatch, Campo Santo