Thank you from all of us at the BeGOOD team for playing Tracing Tomorrow. We hope it gave you a chance to reflect a little on what mental health means to you, as well as how, and with who, you would want to share your experiences when life becomes challenging.
Digital tracking technologies like the one you encountered in the game are not some distant possibility. A number of mental health tracking systems are already here, and being used in dozens of schools in the UK and US. And yet, at the moment there is very little evidence about how effective they are, and importantly, how the young people they are supposed to help feel about them.
That’s why we made Tracing Tomorrow. Unlike some other games, there weren’t any ‘right choices’ at any stage in the journey. Sharing information about mental health – either by allowing an app to track your data, or by opening up to someone offline – could mean accessing a valuable source of support, but it might also mean risking your privacy in one way or another. We wanted to know how people feel and behave when they make a decision with no right answers.
Your choices through the game were recorded, but – unlike the technology in the game – we made sure that there was no way to link that data to your identity. By analysing the choices made by hundreds of people who played through the game, we will build up a picture of how young people feel about digital data tracking technologies for mental health, and how they want to engage with them – if at all.
Like much of our work, we designed the game with our Young Person’s Advisory Group, who helped us develop scenarios that many people could face at school or college. If you enjoyed Tracing Tomorrow, and would like to be informed about our upcoming research in mental health ethics, you can sign up to be alerted about how to get involved by filling in this form.
We can all experience mental health challenges from time to time, especially – but not always – at stressful points in our lives like exams, changes in family relationships, or when experiencing loss. If you want space to talk to someone confidentially about anything you’re going through, you can find a list of services who can provide support here.