Sign Me Up, Bruv
We’re now, what 8, 9 months into this global pandemic? Who’s keeping track at this point? Well, it’s no news that countries all over the world are still having a lot of trouble keeping Coronavirus under control. Until we have widely available vaccines, we will have cycles of high infection rates, followed by strict safety measures, followed by low infection rates, followed by relaxed safety measures, repeat. Young people are being blamed for recent spikes in cases lately, often because they are going back to work or school or the beach. One UK study finds that gaming can be used to encourage young people to stay home.
The study in question looks at behaviors of young people (19-36) in the UK and what could be done to encourage behaviors that prevent transmission of COVID-19. There are many conclusions that this study reaches about young people. For example: interventions that blame young people are generally not received well, interventions that reinforces positive behaviors are more successful than avoidance of negative behavior, young people are more receptive to short term experiences than long term consequences. This last part is what concerns gaming. Since young people are more likely to think about what is going to happen in the short term, a solution suggested for helping them stay at home includes free access to entertainment like streaming services, mobile data, and gaming.
This idea is not exactly new. There have been many campaigns to keep people at home using free games as incentives, but these initiatives were largely led by developers and publishers. If this study were influence protocols and strategies, it might be a major government response to COVID-19 using gaming as a tool. There are many other insights that the study makes that are worth looking at as well.
What do you think of this study in general? Let us know in the comments below.