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.”
Thank you for bringing this up. We’re working on adding a separate warning in the game, aside from the one that exists in the EULA (https://t.co/eXpPn73VSK). Regarding a more permanent solution, Dev team is currently exploring that and will be implementing it as soon as possible. https://t.co/lXFypnSit2
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) December 8, 2020