Cyberpunk 2077: Epilepsy charity speaks out following reports of seizure risks

Epilepsy Action said the game’s developers should ‘consider how to update the game to make it safer’

Louis Chilton
Thursday 10 December 2020 15:38
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Cyberpunk 2077 trailer

Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading member-led epilepsy charity, has addressed reports that some parts of Cyberpunk 2077 may trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The game is expected to be one of the year’s highest-selling releases, and is set in a dystopian city in the year 2077.

As reviews for the game began to be published, Game Informer posted a warning which stated that Cyberpunk included sequences which could potentially trigger seizures in epileptic players.

The sequences in question concern technology referred to in the in-game universe as “Braindances”, which give characters the ability to inhabit the perspective of other bodies for a short pre-recorded memory.

As the character sets up the “Braindance” gear, rapidly blinking lights are seen in front of the screen. It is while playing this scene that Game Informer’s associate editor reveals she experienced a seizure. 

Louise Cousins, Epilepsy Action’s director of external affairs, said in a statement: “We are alarmed and saddened that a game reviewer had a seizure triggered by Cyperpunk 2077, before it was even launched. The game features rapidly blinking lights and other animations that could cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

“These features are unsafe and should have been avoided to make the game more accessible.  With huge demand and excitement building for its release, it may pose a serious risk to people with photosensitive epilepsy. The developers CD Projekt RED should consider how they can update the game to make it safer. A disclaimer warning at the beginning isn’t enough.”

Along with the warning, Game Informer posted advice for epileptic players who wished to play the game, which included instructions to look completely away from the game before a “Braindance” sequence begins.

The Independent has reached out to CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077’s publisher, for comment.

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