Oxford University and ‘Powerwash Simulator’ collaborating on mental health study

A brand new study focusing on gaming and mental health is now live and you can contribute to it by washing some cars and patios.

powerwash simulator study

Since the very dawn of video games, people have argued that they’re bad for you. Violent games are sure to cause violent tendencies in gamers. There’s very little to no actual evidence of it and if anything, studies have shown that video games have a positive effect on one’s wellbeing when done voluntarily with enough free time. 

Now, Powerwash Simulator (which we included in our top picks from Xbox Game Pass) and Oxford University are partnering up for yet another study on the matter, as reported by NME here. Available on Steam, players can now opt-in on the study through a Research Mode which won’t have a multiplayer mode or non-English language support unfortunately. 

There will, however, be a completely new character in the game which allows researchers to contact the player through the game to ask questions about their wellbeing and experiences. FuturLab, the developer behind Powerwash Simulator, said the researcher’s “guiding principle is absolute independence: the results of the study will not be influenced by the game sector and are therefore completely independent of FuturLab. This level of independence is necessary as the project aims to deliver insights into the larger discourse of gaming and mental health.”

Simulator games have become increasingly popular recently. They emulate real-life jobs or even animals, like the very silly Goat Simulator. Powerwash Simulator is about as satisfying as games come as you powerwash things like cars or even back gardens. Powerwash videos constantly rake up views on Youtube and TikTok, but to be able to do it yourself makes it even more soothing. 

The angle from which researchers have approached gaming and wellbeing has historically been a negative one, the central argument and hypothesis was that games must have a negative impact on the gamer for a very long time. In the last few years though, there has been a shift and games such as Animal Crossing have largely been proven to help with mental health. 

This new study should further inform us on the effects of games on our mental health. If you’re keen to be part of the study, you can head here

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