Epilepsy Foundation Advises Caution Related to Flashing Lights in Soon-to-be-Released Game “Cyberpunk 2077”

Monday, December 7, 2020

According to media reports, the long-awaited game Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt) contains several scenes with excessive strobe/flashing lights and sustained animated imagery that may affect those with photosensitive epilepsy. For those with photosensitive epilepsy — or are simply sensitive to flashing lights — and are planning to play the game once it is released on Dec. 10, please be advised that the strobe lights may trigger seizures in some people.

The Foundation has reached out to involved stakeholders in efforts to collaborate and together, better protect people with photosensitive epilepsy. We appreciate CD Projekt RED’s initial efforts to add a warning at the beginning of the game and explore other long-term solutions.

In the meantime, we urge our community, especially those with photosensitive epilepsy, to be cautious and consider the following:

  • Sit at least 2 feet from the screen in a well-lit room.
  • Reduce the brightness of the screen.
  • Do not let children play videogames if they are tired.
  • Take frequent breaks from games and look away from the screen every once in a while. Do not close and open eyes while looking at the screen. Blinking may facilitate seizures in sensitive individuals.
  • Cover one eye while playing. Alternate which eye is covered at regular intervals.
  • Turn the game off if strange or unusual feelings or body jerks develop
  • Have a friend/family member with you when playing the game
  • Teach your friend the three simple steps of seizure first aid — Stay, Safe, Side — so that they can assist if you have a seizure.

For those in the gaming community, if you live stream this game or other games with similar effects, there are ways you can help. Use a trigger warning overlay on your stream to warn viewers who may have photosensitive conditions. The Epilepsy Foundation’s Stream for Epilepsy gaming initiative has developed trigger warning scenes and overlays that anyone can add to their streams. Find the overlays here. Just save the .png files to your computer and add them as an image source in your live streaming software. 

For about 3 percent of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities, or with certain visual patterns, can trigger seizures. This condition is known as photosensitive epilepsy. To learn more about photosensitive epilepsy, including what you can do if flashing lights bother you, please visit www.epilepsy.com/photosensitivity

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding $65 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,076 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 17 years, in partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 500,000 school and community personnel in how to recognize seizures and administer seizure first aid. The Foundation has also assisted more than 108,000 people through its 24/7 Helpline in the past five years, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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