‘PowerWash Simulator’ Players Can Now Help Mental Health Research

PowerWash Simulator gamers can now take part in a research project that examines the links between gambling and mental health. Developer FuturLab has teamed up with independent researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute for a “first-of-its-kind anonymous research study centered on the well-being of PowerWash Simulatorthe players.”

FuturLab says it is working on in-game rewards for participants. If you want to participate, you will need a copy of the game on Steam. You will also need to download a separate version of PowerWash Simulator. In the Betas menu under Properties, select the “research-edition – Research Edition 2022” option.

As points out, this release will provide two types of anonymized data to researchers. They will receive information about player progress, item purchases, and other activity as part of a “baseline telemetry” dataset.

The second type of data is obtained through questions that researchers can ask players about their experience. These will apparently only take a few seconds for players to respond. Players will also be able to provide feedback to researchers via a “Tell us how you feel” button in the menu. FuturLab will not have access to these answers.

Your game progress will not carry over between normal play and the Research Edition (although participating in the Study will earn you cosmetic rewards in the main game). This helps ensure that the study data is consistent and avoids data recording issues. Additionally, the Research Edition will not have a multiplayer mode and will only have English support. FuturLab added that the Research Edition will be available for at least three months.

PowerWash Simulator, at least in my experience, is a relaxing game. It’s just you, a pressure washer, maybe a friend or two, maybe some soap and lots of virtual gunk to blow up. It’s not hard to see why many people might find this soothing.

A number of studies on the mental health and wellness benefits of gambling have been conducted over the years with mixed results. Who’s playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, both of which have strong properties, may be good for you (the study was conducted in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic). However, one , which examined the gambling habits of almost 40,000 people, found that gambling had no significant impact on well-being.

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