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Of Loss & Love: Game-Based Curricula on Grief

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Role: Learning Experience Designer Organisation: UNESCO MGIEP

Product: Game-Based Courses on SEL Duration: Jun-Dec 2020

instructional design • social-emotional learning • interactive storytelling • curriculum design


Course based on the game 'Gris', centred on the themes of grief, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Course available freely on this link here upon signing up. Collaboration with Centre for Complicated Grief, Columbia University.

Gris: Of Love and Loss is a game-based course that serves as an introduction to navigating the landscape of integrated grief through the lens of the protagonist of the game Gris. The game follows the journey of a girl called Gris, who is a hopeful young girl lost in her own world, dealing with a painful experience in her life. The course integrates storytelling, game-based learning, reflection, and dialogue to tackle the complicated territory of grief, made especially relevant in the times of Covid-19, a period of collective loss for humanity.

The four modules in the course: Of Loss and Love

The course is divided in four modules: (i) Understanding Emotions (ii) Understanding Loss (iii) Understanding Grief (iv) Adapting to Grief.

The learning outcomes combine subject matter knowledge of and SEL skills of empathy, mindfulness and compassion. The grief-related learning outcomes are namely: (i) Understanding the unpredictable, messy. and non-cyclic nature of grief. (ii) Accepting the experience of grief and loss as a part of life and understanding the various emotions associated with it.

(iii) Recognising strategies to navigate the landscape of grief. The SEL competencies focus on enhancing cognitive and affective empathy, practices to inculcate mindfulness, and the importance of self-compassion along-with techniques to practice it on a daily basis.

Designed and wrote a short comic on loss as a part of the course.

Designed, wrote and developed an interactive story on grief and loss, delineating the difference between empathy and compassion.

Designed, wrote and developed an interactive audio-visual story on mental health. A story about a conversation on mental health.

By the end of the course, learners would be able to recognise the natural grief response and acknowledge the potential of the innate human capacity to adapt to loss. Aimed at ages 16 and above, the course seeks to train learners with the social-emotional learning skills of Empathy, Mindfulness, Compassion, and Critical Inquiry within the context of grief. The course is the result of a collaboration between UNESCO MGIEP and Dr. Katherine Shear, Director at Center for Complicated Grief, Columbia University.

The course is gamified with a set of "HEALING Cards" that appear to the user after unlocking specific SEL competencies. The cards provide strategies to navigate your way through the landscape of grief.


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