PowerWash Simulator developer FuturLab has launched a new initiative thatll enable players to opt-in and help independent researchers from Oxford Universitys Internet Institute gather data for its research on gaming and mental health.
From today, Steam players that select the research-edition – Research Edition 2022 drop-down option under PowerWash Simulators Properties > Betas menu will gain access to what FuturLab calls a “one-of-a-kind anonymous research study centred around the well-being of PowerWash Simulator’s players [that] also aims to deliver insights into the larger discourse of gaming and mental health.”
FuturLab says two types of anonymous, de-identified data will be collected from players that opt-in to the PowerWash Simulators Research Edition: base telemetry, which includes player progress and other general gameplay activities thatll be provided to the researchers for analysis, plus a second type made up of responses given directly to researchers by players.
This second set of data will be gathered via a new in-game character specific to PowerWash Simulators Research Edition, through which researchers can periodically contact players to ask “extremely short” questions about their experience. Players also have the option to provide researchers with feedback via the Tell us how you feel button, which can be used once every 30 minutes.
While answering is optional, doing so will provide progress toward unlocking special cosmetic rewards that can be used outside the Research Edition.
FuturLab warns that campaign progress wont be carried over between the main game and the Research Edition, and notes that certain features – namely multiplayer and non-English-language support – will be disabled. Additionally, although Challenge mode remains available, study questions wont be asked here “as they would be disruptive to this modes gameplay.”
Anyone interested in participating can find more detailed information on PowerWash Simulators Research Edition over on Steam.