Longitudinal Studies Video Game To Be Launched Later This Year

Researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) are currently working with game developers, Duck Duck Zeus, to create a video game which explores findings from the UK’s cohort studies.

Using information from the 1958 National Child Development Study, 1970 British Cohort Study, Millennium Cohort Study and Next Steps, ‘Jacob’ (working title) will give players an interactive opportunity to follow hypothetical individuals as they make their way through life.

Dr David Bann, of CLS, and Professor Andrew Burn, of the UCL Institute of Education, are leading the collaborative project, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Video games are an extremely promising avenue for public engagement with science – they are used by many millions around the world and even simple games can tackle serious and complicated themes,” explains Dr Bann.

“The game will enable members of the public to engage with quantitative research findings from longitudinal studies, and become familiar with concepts important to social science such as risk and variance.”

The 2D puzzle game, which will be available for PC, tablet and mobile in the spring, will challenge players to assemble ladder-like objects out of a number of different pieces. Players need to build upwards while avoiding or overcoming different obstacles. Unlike most video games, players will not start off equally – the game difficulty will depend on both random variation and on the early life socioeconomic conditions selected at the beginning of the game.

The more challenging the circumstances, the more difficult it will be on average to assemble the pieces to get to the top of the ladder and complete the game.

At the end of each game, players will be able to find out more about the possible influence of different socioeconomic conditions, through the published findings from peer-reviewed journal articles, which have used data from the cohort studies housed at CLS.

You can follow the frequent development updates of ‘Jacob’ on this blog site, on our Twitter and our Facebook Page

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