FuturLab, one of the developers of PowerWash Simulator, is collaborating with researchers from Oxford University to explore if games can affect mental health, and has created a new Research Edition which can be acquired by players who want to participate. A beta version of the game is currently available on Steam as an optional download.
There is one major difference between the Research Edition and the Standard Edition: a researcher will occasionally appear to ask you some questions. They shouldn't disrupt your game experience as they will take less than a couple of seconds to answer. As the study questions would be disruptive to challenge mode's gameplay, they will not be asked in this mode."
It is possible to participate simply to help with a research project that dives into how gaming impacts mental health, but rewards are later available if you want them. These cosmetic rewards can be unlocked for the base game based on progress made in the Research Edition. Progress made in your campaign, however, will not be carried over.
PowerWash Simulator is required to play the Research Edition, so you cannot jump into it for free. Therefore, PC Game Pass subscribers are not eligible unless they also buy the game on Steam. Moreover, since the Research Edition is a beta, you cannot play it simultaneously with the base game's version.
Due to data protection and handling laws, participants must be 18 years or older to participate in this version. If you have any questions while taking part in the study, you can email the researchers at the dedicated email address on the research page. There is, however, no personal data kept and all personal data will be de-identified in the future.