Year of the Cicadas, a project by XR Pediatrics about the loss of a child and the evolution of grief over time, has been funded in part by the Unity for Humanity Grant and will be developed by PreviewLabs.
The Unity for Humanity grant provides funding, mentorship, and resources to individuals and teams using Unity’s game engine to create projects with a positive social impact. It has selected Year of the Cicadas as one of the eight fortunate projects that will receive the grant. Overall, there were almost 500 applicants.
Year of the Cicadas draws on the 17-year life cycle and symbolism of the Brood X cicadas. It will be a virtual reality experience which follows a mother’s journey to find meaning after the loss of her son. Using personal audio files, music, and images, the player is taken on a journey through the mother’s narrative, interacting with the experiences of passing time and grief.
Year of the Cicadas is a project about loss of a child and the evolution of grief.
PreviewLabs will be developing this virtual reality experience in collaboration with the team of Dr. Kimberly Hieftje at XR Pediatrics. We have worked on some succesful projects with them in the past, including the award winning Invite Only VR, which is a VR intervention about smoking and vaping.
See the official announcement about the grant winners of 2023 on the Unity blog.