Parents of child with cancer use Microsoft Sway to tell their story

Laurent Giret

Microsoft interactive storytelling app Sway has been receiving numerous updates over the last few months, as the Powerpoint alternative now makes it easy to incorporate photos, videos, and social media content in just a few clicks and “empower everyone to tell their stories in unique, innovative and delightful ways.”

A month ago, Microsoft also started a new series of “Sway featured stories,” with the first featured Sway covering Lego artist Nathan Sawaya  who is using LEGO bricks to create works of art. Today, the Sway team is sharing on the Office blog their second feature story which is definitely more dramatic and moving.

This Sway tells the story of Ryan, Amy, and Joel Green, the family behind the video game “That Dragon, Cancer” and the film “Thank You for Playing.” Ryan and Amy are the parents of Joel Green, who was diagnosed with an atypical tumor when he was just a year old. As a video game programmer, Ryan Green began to develop the game to document their family’s struggles in a very honest way. However, the work on the game soon became a way for Ryan and Amy Green to develop a conversation about cancer, uncertainty, and death, topics that Amy Greens explains “universally touch us all”.

“That Dragon, Cancer” was released on January 12th, 2016 and has been praised by mainstream media and hardcore gamers alike, while also resonating with people who went through the same tragic events. The Sway team thought that this story was worth sharing in a very well done Sway:

As admirers of the Greens’ works and generosity, we feel honored to have their permission to tell the story behind the making of “That Dragon, Cancer.” Readers will witness the couple’s journey from the very start of their struggles to where they are now. And it touches upon the many existential questions they grappled with while developing the game. We hope our medium does justice to its sights, sounds and motions, as well as the complexity of Ryan and Amy’s thoughts and emotions, and puts our viewers in the shoes of this remarkable and resilient family.

That Dragon, Cancer” is available on Steam while the documentary “Thank You For Playing” is available to download on the most popular digital storefronts (including Microsoft’s Windows Store).