PowerWash simulator players help with mental health research
Players of the PowerWash simulator have now helped researchers understand the effects of gaming—at least the game of cleaning things using a virtual pressure washer—on mental health.
The game’s developer, FuturLab, said in a Steam update:(opens in new window) We have partnered with researchers from the University of Oxford’s Oxford Internet Institute to conduct “an original, anonymous research study centered on the well-being of PowerWash Simulator players.” Gaming and mental health discussion. ”
This research is conducted via a dedicated branch of PowerWash Simulator known as the Research Edition. This version of the simulation game is for English speakers only and does not support multiplayer game modes. It also features a new character that allows the researcher to ask “very short” questions about the player’s experience.
According to FuturLab, PowerWash Simulator Research Edition also collects “metrics such as player progress, shop purchases, and general gameplay activity.” It will be anonymous and anonymized. That information will be accessible to both the company and researchers. FuturLab said it did not have access to the answers provided to the researchers’ questions.
The developer points out that progress made in the main version of PowerWash Simulator does not carry over to the Research Edition. However, players who participate in the survey will receive exclusive in-game items, and those cosmetics will carry over to the main game. Information about participating in this survey, returning to the main game, etc. is available on his website at FuturLab.(opens in new window).
FuturLab says it plans to make the Research Edition of PowerWash Simulator available until at least November 18, but has yet to determine exactly how long players will be able to participate in the survey.
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