Serious Game: Ecstasy, Legalize it or not?

Serious Game: Ecstasy, Legalize it or not?

XTC Buying Simulator

MDMA, which is widely used recreationally in pill form called ecstasy, is already available in the Netherlands as an illegal hard drug since 1988. What would be the possible advantages and disadvantages of MDMA legalization in the Netherlands? And what type of regulation models would be acceptable for the public?

An online serious game simulating ecstasy regulation is helping to spark discussions and reflections on this topic. Last month, UU Pharmacy students have played the game during an interactive webinar as part of the course Addiction and Drugs. After a short lecture about the history of ecstasy and current debates over its regulation, the game was used to allow students to experience different possible legal sales settings.

The game has been produced by a group of UU researchers and students together with Poppi Drug Museum. Players can purchase ecstasy in three different settings - a pharmacy, a smartshop and a party. They can also choose under which conditions sales can happen – age limits to be able to purchase, the quantity and strength of the pills, types of advice given, possibility of advertisement, and so on. A short survey embedded in the game collects players opinions about the ideal setting to purchase ecstasy.  

UU pharmacy students used their knowledge and experience with the game to discuss the advantages disadvantages of the different MDMA sales settings and MDMA regulation in general.