Danger of playing video games with Cyberpunk 2077 and epilepsy

Cyberpunk 2077 – Hard to access as it should be (Photo: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 may now be failing because it’s dangerous for people with epilepsy, but it’s not the only one with similar problems.

During the eight years of development, CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 has been involved in considerable controversy. To date, teams have been blamed for their attitude towards transgender rights, their crunch practices, and the constantly delayed release of the game itself.

Recent anger is that one of its central mechanisms is predisposed to seizures in patients with Photosensitive Epilepsy.Known as Brain danceIn the sequence in question, you can connect to a special mainframe to memorize and interface with other characters. Then, you will be attacked by the onslaught of blinking LEDs. To be honest, this sounds very unpleasant, whether or not you have a neurological condition that results in your own vulnerabilities.

Twitter has been enthusiastic about this subject for the past few days, with many claiming that it’s no longer safe to buy an action-role player, and has the equivalent of a full-fledged epilepsy test. Things seem unnecessarily exclusive on a regular basis in the game.

Note that CD Projekt Red responds by adding a health warning at the beginning of the game, promising the following: Working on a “permanent solution”The main advantage of all of this is that it caused the coveted conversation. Cyberpunk isn’t the only culprit in this oversight.

The game is full of flashing lights. Whether they are large overt strobes that are barely registered with the naked eye or flickering that is barely perceptible, there are few releases that do not contain some sort of trigger stimulus. For the past decade or so, this is something my partner and I have had a hard time learning.

In context, she suffers from photosensitive type epilepsy, with about 2 million others worldwide. The effects of this condition are not the same for everyone, but in her case it means she cannot stare at an overly bright image for long periods of time or be exposed to a continuous burst of white light. .. If it’s red, blue, or green, it tends to be a little more acceptable to her, but they can still send her to a major seizure under the wrong circumstances.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Key Art

Star Wars Jedi: Corrupted Order-Imagine a Life Without Star Wars (Photo: EA)

Therefore, we need to be very careful about what kind of entertainment we consume together. All Star Wars movies are clearly off the table, and music concerts are a dangerous suggestion. During the West End musical, if you are particularly keen on visual effects, you need to cover her eyes. Similarly, when it comes to video games, there are some off-limits titles for us as a couple.

For example, we’re both enthusiastic survival horror fans, and it’s why she can’t see Dead Space or Alien Isolation (two of my personal favorites and can never be shared with her). I’m always unhappy. On the other hand, the battle at Kingdom Hearts 3 was something she was very much looking forward to as a hardcore Disney nerd, but it was a mess with energy explosions, laser beams and fireworks launching every corner of the screen. She tried to watch with her fingers, but it was still overwhelming and we ended up having to give up, which greatly contributed to her disappointment.

Another thing she was very much looking forward to was the recent Spider-Man: Miles Morales. However, because the heroes of the name rely on electric-based attacks, they are also driven into the “no” mountain. Sometimes it’s not the whole game that you can see, but small pieces here and there. In such cases, she can look away and at the same time I can provide a rough audio guide while trying to defeat the boss, but she still feels like she’s missing out.

This does not mean that developers are expecting us to work alone. On the contrary, my partner is incredibly resilient and doesn’t like to make a fuss about her disability. In fact, she usually seeks to empower her through experiences that can exacerbate epilepsy. Because epilepsy is determined not to dominate my life.

Kingdom Hearts 3 – Not a Disney celebration for all fans (Photo: Square Enix)

Therefore, if you take an informed risk and decide to do something that can cause a seizure, do it wisely. Take regular breaks, tinker with display options, and weigh what she needs to see against her. I can afford to skip. If you get the chance, limit the scope of the game in advance to see if you can play together remotely, or if that’s the absolute cause of the loss.

Given that we are willing to make these concessions and thus not get in the way of us, there is no harm if the industry can meet us at least along the way. From her point of view, I can’t understand why developers are sticking to using lighting effects in situations where they really don’t need it. Sure, they sometimes help create dramas, but they often feel like crutches overused to generate tension and jazz-up action sequences. It provides an unnecessary barrier to entry.

So what does Bioshock get by sprinkling the lamps in Fritz in every other room? And if that degraded weapon didn’t explode with a dazzling glow in a collision, would people rate Zelda: Breath of the Wild further?

With a proxy, after a while you will start to notice these triggers. Even without my partner, you can see how small things like police sirens and muzzle flares can be offensive to your face for long periods of time. For example, when tinkering with Cuphead, not only did he understand how many chaotic stages it had to induce migraine headaches, but he also momentarily flickered for nanoseconds each time the projectile came into contact with an enemy. I noticed.

If you’ve ever played a masterpiece of Studio MDHR barrage, this is a very common event and you’ll end up with harmless animations over and over again. It looked like a harmless feedback tool to everyone else, but I couldn’t play the whole game anymore.

Cuphead – Another Unpleasant Sequence (Photo: Studio MDHR)

This gives me the point of this article: How can developers be more acclimatized to people with Photosensitive Epilepsy? Well, first, they can follow the cyberpunk lead and make sure their products have a decent warning label. However, the problem with this is that most titles already have these ambiguous disclaimers, which is particularly useless.

It never clearly shows how much flashy content there is, or whether it’s just an isolated pocket that you have to be aware of. So while it gives the impression that almost every title that exists is completely inappropriate, in reality, most of them are manageable if you know what to expect.

In that case, a better alternative is to implement the “persistent solution” that CD Projekt Red is currently creating. Perhaps this is some kind of setting that allows you to turn off LED braindance, in which case it will be a great step in the right direction.

Earlier this year, The Last Of Us Part 2 debuted with a comprehensive suite of accessibility options that benefit motor control issues, hearing issues, and low vision players. This is an unprecedented move, and if you’re lucky, it will become the industry standard for the new console generation. Still, there were still some gaps that could be filled.

That is, there was no toggle feature that simply deactivated the two-hour hurricane that dominated the third day of the campaign. Sure, the colorblind setting may have helped reduce the intensity of the lightning strikes here, but in retrospect it seems like a very simple fix, and hopefully it’s on the card now. Maybe.

In short, I’m optimistic that the cyberpunk controversy paves the way for video games to a much easier epileptic future. After all, it will eventually allow so many people who were previously blocked from the medium to enjoy it. And it will help people like me share many of our hobbies with those we love.

Harrison Abbott

Screenshot of Last of Us 2

The Last of Us 2 – Winner of the Accessibility Award, but still a problem from an epilepsy perspective (Photo: Sony)

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Cyberpunk 2077 and the perils of playing video games with epilepsy

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