back to article Epilepsy tests delay PS3 videogame launch

An executive behind the latest addition to the Wipeout videogame franchise has admitted that launch of the latest title has been delayed because it failed a routine epilepsy screening test. wipeout_HD_01 wipEout HD initially failed epilepsy safety screening wipEout HD, a futuristic driving game for the PlayStation 3, was …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why do the rest of us have to miss out just because of those who have an fit at some flashing lights? Just stick a label on it saying not suitable for epi sufferers.... I remember at the school disco the old strobe light, no doubt banned now.

  2. Chris


    Some mother wants to ban something? STOP THE PRESSES!

    Slap a big warning on it (like on cigs, and booze, and cars and shit) and be done with it.

    "WARNING: This product is known to the state of California to not only cause Cancer, but to inflict epilepsy, and fund terrorism."

  3. kain preacher


    Cheaper than being sued or having forced gov regs -

  4. Stephen

    Agreed, Why?!

    Photo-sensitive epilepsy is one of the rarest forms, something like 1 in 5000 (and that's the extreme high end of probability) *may* be triggered by this. These people probably already know to avoid video games...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I remember at the school disco the old strobe light, no doubt banned now."

    Best bit of the school disco, that.

    Mind you, I remember the dancing competition too. In fact, one year they put the strobe on, one kid had a fit and he won the trophy: Teachers thought he was breakdancing.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Why should those of us who do happen to suffer from it, but have enjoyed the Wipeout series (amongst others) for years, be denied the pleasure of playing new installments in the series?

    You insensitive prick.

    I say fair play to the developers - they should be applauded for this, and not chastised. So the game failed a photosensitivity test- big deal. It's great that they're doing something about it, and apparently being honest as to why the game was delayed.

  7. Steve

    Because people may not know

    People with no previous history of epilepsy can have an episode triggered by flashing lights. So a warning label is insufficient.

  8. Gordon Pryra

    Screw the weak ones!!

    I think the fact that the game can actually bring on an attack would be a selling point.

    Imagine "loosing it on the conrer" at high speed!

    Its about time that they sort out our gene pool instead of dumming down the lives of the norms.

    As a norm, I give up to much of the excitement of my life to those who would have either been raised by wolves and started their own empires or died on the hillside.

    Bring back the Hillside side experiance for childrern I say, and also stop giving medical help to people who cause road crashes.

    Instant self repairing British Gene pool!!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    let's ban peanuts

    I think we should ban peanuts, infact anything that anyone is alergic to, has problems with or just does not like. Then life would be much safer :)

  10. Matt


    Well, I suppose it's because, in this case, a little forethought would mean we could all enjoy the game without any delay.

    If we exclude these people from this, why shouldn't we exclude people like you who can't construct sentences properly?

  11. Alex


    Probably because there is a high percentage of epilepsy sufferers who do not know that suffer from it... You don't have to be born with it, and you certainly don't know you have it until it is too late (generally).

    That'll be the reason why. I do sympathise, but I also know (second hand) what undiagnosed epilepsy can do to you...

  12. Liam

    nanny state!!!

    lets ban everything that might cause some distress to a tiny minority of people.

    OR how about anyone with this type of problem should be aware of their condition and not make everyone else suffer?

    why cant people take some responsibility for themselves rather than try to make everyone else pander to their needs. sheesh. i cite the US' blame culture as the cause behind all this. imagine if 20 years ago you would have seen an advert like:

    ' i was walking down the street and fell over - ive sued the council for 20 grand'

    look where you are going you frikkin idiot!

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Duh because maybe some people don't know they are epileptic :-P

  14. Thomas Bottrill


    Isn't there usually a massive warning included in all video games that state that they may cause epileptic fits? Surely that's enough to not really worry too much about it (although, if this has been done fairly easily without compromising the game, there's really no problem in doing it)?


    Clubs which use strobe lights usually have a massive warning at the front door saying that they use strobe lights. Having said that, I was still asked by someone not to use it as they were epileptic.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    ??? Timewarp.

    1/ This "news" is over 2 months old.

    2/ WipeoutHD is confirmed to be on next weeks PSN download release list.

    Come on James, if it's not outright lies, it's just general crappy blogging (I won't call it reporting, as it's clearly nowhere near that).

  16. IPB

    RE: Why?

    So much wrong with your post...

    1. You are NOT missing out on anything. The game will have been altered to ensure it does not contain flashing elements that could trigger a seizure. I am certain that you could play the game before and after the change and not notice any difference.

    2. Photosensitive Epilepsy symptoms usually first appear during childhood or adolescence, with a peak at the beginning of puberty. So you could put all the stickers you like on a box, the individual playing may not know that they are susceptible to the condition.

    3. If not exposed to triggers like flashing elements in games the 'epi sufferer' (what a lovely phrase...) may never have a seizure at all so it is well worth game producers taking the time to eliminate these scenes.

  17. grom

    Harding Test

    This isn't really any big deal - anything that is sold or broadcast that involves moving images is usually run through the Harding Test -

    If you're in a band and want your video shown on MTV then you have to stump up the £300 or so for the test or you leave yourself liable. AFAIK all video games are usually run through before release and many of them fail, it's not a big deal to fix either, just make sure that the pattern of flashing isn't too repetitive by randomising the flashes and your brain perceives them differently.

    Nightclub lighting operators 'should' also know how long you are allowed to run a strobe without varying the speed

  18. Joe K


    So they don't even test it, its just some "machine" that says "ooh, flashy, banned!".

    Thats shit.

    They really dampened down the amazing Zone mode graphics because of this, they could at least have an option so the 99.99999% of people unaffected could enjoy the eye-melting glory.

    Still looking forward to it next week, only £12!

  19. Anony mouse

    what's blue and doesn't fit anymore??

    should have said delayed.. past tense.. game's out next week..

  20. paul

    looking forwards to it

    1080p 60fps fast as fu*k

    I expect to have red eye after playing it for a couple of hours straight. Level of Redbull consumed to be high.

    I just hope they have not ruined it because of epilepsy suffers.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    yeah, f*ck 'em eh, who cares if they have a seizure and die?

    No doubt you would advocate these genetically inferior epilepsy sufferers are rounded up into cattle carts and sent to a refurbished Auschwitz.

    On a side note...

    I don't suffer from epilepsy myself. I do however have a nut allergy (as >1% people do) and in reference to your labelling suggestion it makes me very angry that manufacturers are allowed the legal handwashing of putting 'may contain nuts' on their packaging.

    You wouldn't use a label 'may contain arsenic' just to cover your arses would you. It's either got nuts in or it hasn't simple as that! How on earth is this allowed considering the precise nature of EU ingredients listing is beyond me.

    Rant over!

  22. Law
    Thumb Up

    another reason @ why

    is alot of shops for kids and adults alike, like toys r us and others will stick this game on their display units and show it in all it's HD glory - fit inducing frequencies included. Are you saying they shouldn't be shopping in the same shops as non-epileptics now too??

    I'm neither epileptic or know one, but even I know that if a game can cause a fit in a passer by it should be modified if it's a relatively easy thing to do - all it takes is modifying the frequency of flashing by a few mhz, hardly something you will notice as a gamer.

    I used to work in an office where I had to use an experimental imaging setup, using strobes running for hours at a time, the risk assessment decided I should blackout my office windows, and also run the strobe outside of the 10-25mhz range as that is apparently the common fit inducing frequency. Not sure if that's a 100% fact as I've never been bothered to check it myself, but I was happy to follow their recomendations as it really made no difference to me, but could mean a massive difference to co-workers.

    Oh - and I'm looking forward to the game to! :D

  23. Anonymous Coward


    I can't believe I have to say this but...

    This is because many foodstuffs are produced in the same factory and a trace of nuts from one item may contaminate even a foodstuff that is not intended to have any. Thus killing you. So you may or may not wish to be informed of this risk, but most people will (and the supermarket lawyers certainly don't want the liability). If you want to know if nuts are *intended* to be in there, read the ingredients which as you say will identify all substances and are extremely precise. You are a tool.

    From a soon to be advisor on 'legal handwashing'.

  24. Mark Rendle


    Why go to all the expense of refurbishing it? Why should my taxes go to keeping those epileptic bastards in the lap of luxury?

  25. TimM

    @Joe K

    "So they don't even test it, its just some "machine" that says "ooh, flashy, banned!".

    Thats shit."

    The "machine" is a well established and widely accepted test for epileptic triggers. Pretty accurate as I understand it. Thus they do indeed test it. No they don't need to sit someone with epilepsy in front of the game to find out.

    Anyway, the few that it can affect may be unaware they are sensitive or even epileptic, and it is potentially life threatening.

    Trust me, if you have seen someone suffer from a photosensitive epileptic trigger you wouldn't be such an insensitive "shit". It's a scary thing to witness and I'm sure is far worse for the sufferer.

    The adjustment they have to make to the game is minor and is unlikely going to make difference to the experience. Likely if you hadn't heard about this you wouldn't even notice.

    Of course if it goes ahead unaltered, you could be the one who finds out you are actually affected and never knew it, and collapse having a fit and choking on the floor with no one to help as you slowly suffocate and die. But hey, who cares so long as the majority have great fun playing it.

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