Increasingly, game-like structures are being used by indie developers to channel emotional experiences, to tell more personal stories.
That Dragon, Cancer is about as personal as it gets, dealing as it does with the death of its creators' five-year old son. Diagnosed with terminal cancer at barely a year old, Joel Green lived almost four years longer than his doctors estimated, and this is the story of his life.
Suffice to say, a first-person shoot 'em up it is not.
None of us get through life without being touched by death, and it goes without saying that the death of a child is the Reaper's nuclear option. I was 12 when my 9 month-old niece died, and I saw the grief take hold of my family.
Its grip may have loosened in the years since, but it will never entirely let go.
When you lose a child, you also lose a teenager, an adult, grandchildren - the potential of who that person would have been. You are robbed of all experiences that should be taken for granted. My niece, Kimberley, would now be 32 had she lived, but there remains a hole in our family.
It's difficult to describe That Dragon, Cancer using traditional gaming terminology. It's a Myst-like exploration game, it's a point-and-click adventure... but even words like "game" and "adventure" don't adequately describe it.
If it's an exploration game, then what it explores is emotional territory, rather than geographical - the simple joys of parenthood, coupled to the crushing pain of knowing that you are going to lose your child. It's an almost hallucinogenic journey through vignettes - hospitals, playgrounds, the family home - which drift woozily from one to another, reflecting the way time sluggishly ebbs and flows in the hours, days and months after losing somebody you love (or knowing you're going to lose them).
Many of the moments are familiar to every parent - simply trying to get your child to stop crying, or pushing them on a swing. Others border on the horrific - witnessing your child banging their head against the side of their cot, because they can't stand the pain they're in, or having to explain to their siblings that their brother is going to die.
Certain scenes are more stylised, designed to represent a feeling as opposed to a place, while some become simple arcade games - a Mario Kart-esque racing sequence finds the player collecting medicine for Joel.
The only real way of judging That Dragon, Cancer is to ask whether I was moved by it.
Certainly, I found it crushingly sad, but it's hard to know whether I was moved by the game, or by the knowledge that I was experiencing an interactive interpretation of somebody's real life grief.
It's fair to say I found it somewhat hampered by clunky, frustrating controls, and the way people are depicted as slightly creepy, blank-faced avatars. Though the voice acting - if it is indeed acting - is strong, there were a few too many barriers to me engaging with it in the way that I think was intended.
Unfortunately, I also found some of it just too saccharine and twee - and often it felt like they used the trick of offsetting seemingly innocent moments by pulling the rug out from beneath me, with bad news. Maybe that was the intention, but it left me feeling as if I was the one being played.
Inevitably, when dealing with an experience that tries so hard to put you inside another person's emotions, some of the barriers were my own 'stuff'.
Though it's not always overt, I struggled occasionally with the couple's Christian faith, and the game's final message. Specifically, how they thanked God for the years they got to spend with Joel. That's my issue however - on an intellectual level, I accept that faith can be a great comfort. At the same time, I didn't view Joel's life as a miracle - I saw it as a tragedy, and I question whether giving thanks to some faceless deity can, in some instances, stall the grieving process.
And maybe that's the point of That Dragon, Cancer: there's no one response to it. You feel what you feel, and who am I to tell Ryan and Amy Green how to feel about the death of their child? This is their story to tell, in whichever way they felt it needed telling. I sincerely hoped it helped them.