Video game developer FuturLab recently announced it was teaming up with independent researchers from Oxford University’s Internet Institute. Thanks to this partnership, the two sides will be conducting a one-of-a-kind study that analyzes the relationship between gaming and mental health through the use of FuturLab’s hit game PowerWash Simulator.
The opt-in program for the study officially went live on August 18th, with a Research Edition of PowerWash Simulator made available via Steam. As FuturLab puts it, multiplayer gaming capabilities and English-language support have been disabled in the Research Edition of the game. Additionally, the Research Edition will feature a new character that “allows researchers to contact the player as if they exist in the game’s universe. They will get in touch throughout the study and occasionally ask questions about your experience. These questions are extremely short (they’ll take you less than a couple of seconds to answer) so shouldn’t disrupt your game experience.”
Researchers have been looking deeply into the effects that gaming has on people’s mental health. Another study conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute earlier this year found “little to no evidence” that gaming affects a person’s well-being.
If you are interested in participating in this study, you can sign up for the program by clicking here.