PSA: Cyberpunk 2077 includes light sequences known to trigger epileptic seizures

    
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We’ve all seen it in a wide variety of games that have been recently released: the epilepsy warning about how certain sequences of flashing colored lights trigger photosensitive seizures in people, even those without a history of the condition. However, in the case of the soon to be released Cyberpunk 2077, there’s a very specific event as shared by writer Liana Ruppert at Game Informer that triggered a seizure practically by design.

The event in question is the braindance, which the game has featured previously as a part of regular gameplay that lets players plug in to memories of events from an individual’s perspective and digitally investigate the location of the memory. In one part of the game’s narrative, the writer’s character put on a headset that started with a series of rapid red and white blinking lights, which is extremely similar to a device that neurologists use to trigger seizures for diagnosis purposes.

“When ‘suiting up’ for a BD, especially with Judy, V will be given a headset that is meant to onset the instance. The headset fits over both eyes and features a rapid onslaught of white and red blinking LEDs, much like the actual device neurologists use in real life to trigger a seizure when they need to trigger one for diagnosis purposes. If not modeled off of the IRL design, it’s a very spot-on coincidence, and because of that this is one aspect that I would personally advise you to avoid altogether. When you notice the headset come into play, look away completely or close your eyes. This is a pattern of lights designed to trigger an epileptic episode and it very much did that in my own personal playthrough.”

The writer, who suffers from epilepsy as a result of an active duty injury, had a grand mal seizure triggered by the surprise sequence. “If not modeled off of the IRL design, it’s a very spot-on coincidence, and because of that this is one aspect that I would personally advise you to avoid altogether,” she warns.

Ruppert also mentions a number of other visual triggers that those with epilepsy might want to be aware of such as flickering red visual glitches while in a braindance, a glitching blue visual that can frame the NPC Johnny Silverhand, and other general color combinations in the clubs of Night City that could be an issue. Ruppert also provides a number of suggestions for those who want to play the game regardless such as adjusting monitor brightness or playing with colorblind modes.

“While I would never recommend someone push past their limits, especially with something as serious as epilepsy, I do know how excitement can push that desire,” she writes. “If it’s going to happen, I want you to be as safe as possible. Trust me, I get it.”

source: Game Informer.
Editor’s note
We’ve altered our original title, which was “PSA: Cyberpunk 2077 replicates a specific set of light sequences meant to trigger epileptic seizures.” “Meant to” in our title referred to the scientific design of the sequence as used in medical settings, not to the design of the game; we assume CDPR was not intentionally trying to give anyone a seizure. However, several Twitter friends prevailed upon us to tweak it, given that it could be read a different way, and we’ve now done so.
Update
As MOP Rndomuser notes, CDPR now says it’s working on a much clearer in-game warning on this content and some sort of fix.

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Hikari Kenzaki

The game I am the CM for, much like Cyberpunk, has an artistic style that involves a ton of flashing lights, big explosions, and photo triggers.

We had two viewers of a recent live stream tell us that some of the effects were giving them photosensitivity issues. TWO!

We still invested weeks of dev time (and we only have 3 devs, not 500) to adding protections and accessibility options for epilepsy, photosensitivity, color blindness, and more last month. And we’re not even out of closed alpha. It was just something that needed to be done to protect our community.

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Castagere Shaikura

This is going to be a game to watch. The hype for it is so large that all kinds of people are going to find things to complain about and Twitter is going to explode. I never had any real interest in the game because I refuse to upgrade my pc for a video game anymore like I did when I was younger. If I can’t play it on my system then no sweat off my back. But I will enjoy the drama.

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McGuffn

This seems like a very 2020 thing to do.

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DeadlyAccurate

I’ve decided it’s worth waiting a couple months on this game while they patch out bugs and maybe provide an option to turn these effects off. I’m not epileptic, but I’ve never liked strobe effects and don’t understand the purpose of them.

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Rndomuser

Just an update for your article, CDPR are aware of it and will be addressing it:

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Thanks Rndom!

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Rndomuser

Unlike some made-up controversies by clickbait publications and insane people on Twitter (right now some people even found a way to complain that game forces your character to eat certain kind of food that some people may be allergic to), this is actually a major issue for some people and CDPR definitely needs a way to skip such parts which may trigger seizures. Hopefully it will be a part of day one patch or the one that will be after that. And they definitely need to put a warning about it at every online store that sells this game.

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Greaterdivinity
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Rndomuser

Yea, I did not read the actual article when I saw this on Twitter being retweeted. I still would not be surprised if someone did this seriously, though.

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Tobasco da Gama

“I got fooled by an obvious fake, but I’m doubling down on my assertions anyway.”

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Rndomuser

What’s the point of your reply other than intentionally antagonizing person you are replying to? I already said that I did not realize that the part about “people complaining about eating food which may cause allergies” was a satire when I saw it on Twitter and I treated it as a serious post when I first saw it, which is true, regardless if anyone wants to believe in it or not, and I already said that I would not be surprised if it was actually a serious post considering the amount of other “outrages” other people posted on Twitter regarding this game and the company. Or do you have a reading comprehension issue of some kind?

Gipfeli
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Gipfeli

no! we want a proper response of you, where you clearly apologize for your mistake!

1. point out your mistake,
2. tell us why this mistake happened,
3. tell us exactly and very detailed what actions you will take, so the mistake will not happen again,
4. a proper apology to me personally and the whole community

i give you exactly 20 minutes to do so!

thx

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Bruno Brito

Take the L graciously, dude. You got got.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

What… people are upset that the character eats bread or something? “I have gluten allergies, it offends me that my character in a game is doing something that could possibly kill me in real life. Please remove so I can get back to brain-hacking, replacing my character’s limbs with cyberware, and shooting an unreasonable number of bullets at everything in sight.”

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Greaterdivinity

Man…I’m actually starting to get a bit interested in the game now (I usually find this happens with bigger games I largely ignore during the marketing phases). But I can definitely wait.

Between the reports of massive, widespread bugs, the 50GB day 1 patch that likely won’t be the “Jesus” patch some hope, stuff like this falling through the cracks and more this is looking like I need to stock up on popcorn in the next few days.

Also, screw the people that spammed the Liana over at Game Informer with seizure inducing videos disguised as “support” after she wrote about it. This is why we can’t have nice things.

That the game still appears this rushed/unfinished despite the multiple delays and their confident comments they made before announcing the final delay is worrying. If this is a technical mess that drags on, I wonder if they CDPR brand takes a hit or if they simply become a newer Bethesda. Where all the jank and extensive bugs are a “feature” : P

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wratts

I think it’s kind of expected. I know I’ll be waiting a while for the experience to get polished. Big games like this are very much “released into the wild” for final testing

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

seizurepunk 2077.gif
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PanagiotisLial1

I think these things can happen when a product is rushed

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BalsBigBrother

Given the immense pressure these devs are experiencing it’s not surprising mistakes happen or something like this is overlooked.

It’s now about how they react now the spotlight is shining on this issue. Personally I am sure CDPR will patch this in some way or other as soon as they are able.

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bobfish

I don’t suffer from epilepsy, but I’ve never enjoyed bright flashing lights, in any form.

I can understand the artistic direction that would lead to this, I mean its pretty common in sci-fi as the future of VR etc. But it would be good to have an option to tone it down and disable it.