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I yearn for the adventure in RPGs and action-packed games. I get excited from being frightened in scary games. And I exercise my resourcefulness in games that place me in the position to control what happens in my universe.

But every now and then, I need to get real — and to recognize certain realities that extend past my controller, into a realm where I have no control.

Like most writers, I read up on news very frequently, and this piece from Rock Paper Shotgun about That Dragon, Cancer happened across my feed.

If you read the article and the synopsis of the game, and have also been following it for a while, then you’ll know that the story itself draws from true experiences of the developers themselves. It’s an interactive biography that celebrates life in the shadow of death — a life that will soon be available to explore in the New Year.

Now this isn’t another news piece, and I’m not being told to talk about this. In fact, while That Dragon, Cancer was an inspiration for this post, the purpose of it extends far past anything to do with games in general.

Courtesy of That Dragon, Cancer

I am reminded of my own grandparents fighting their own dragons right now — throat and bone cancer. Thinking about it makes me miss them, and want to hop on a plane to visit them. The more I think, I more I’m reminded of the struggles of my family and friends around me — either fighting illnesses by themselves or for family, illnesses whether they are physical or mental.

It’s no Fallout 4. It’s no Witcher game. It certainly isn’t Battlefront either. But games like That Dragon, Cancer exist for reasons — to bring us down from the hype and learn to look beyond our screens.

The question is, beyond to what? And we each have our own reasons, our own answers, for that.

Maybe your reason to look beyond is in a nursing home. Maybe your reason is on the streets, begging for food and shelter. Maybe your reason is sleeping in another room, dreaming of candy canes and waiting for the morning to open their presents.

Whatever your reason may be, appreciate them. Find it in you to forgive them, if you need to. Take back your pride and ask for forgiveness. Not just because it’s the holidays, but because this life is never certain and things can change in an instant. And the worst Dragon to face, after all is said and done, is Regret.

From AYBOnline, we appreciate each and every single one of you. And from mine to yours, I wish you all a Happy Holiday filled with love and cheer and reasons to appreciate everything that surrounds you.

♥ Kate

Kate is a contributor and a Graphic Designer for AYBOnline, and producer on Level 1 Scrubs Podcast. Her opinions are her own. Feel free to follow on Twitter!

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