How to Keep Cyberpunk 2077 Safe From Real Seizures

When it comes to video games, I don’t really pay much attention to previews (or pre-release controversies), so the entire online drama surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 – an incredibly publicized role-playing game that comes out on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PT – has passed me safely. from. However, there is one problematic part of the game to be aware of before launching it: if you have epilepsy, parts of Cyberpunk 2077 can cause a real health problem.

In fact, they are already there: Game Informer Associate Editor Liana Ruppert has been playing a copy of the game for the past week and a half or so, and her experience was quite shocking:

“As seizures have become my new normal, I often focus on certain design choices that can be harmful to those who are sensitive to neurological traps, so that I can decide for myself if it’s safe to play, decide if there is a way around these obstacles, and try to suggest some navigation tools for others that might face the same obstacle.

While working with Cyberpunk 2077, I had one severe seizure, and at several moments I felt close to another. I continued because I made this decision, and I feel that this decision helped me put together a small guide for players who want to take part in this game for fear of missing out. “

You shouldn’t have to worry about cramps when playing video games, regardless of your personal health condition. Full stop. No game experience is that important, and no developer should assume that their game doesn’t need any accessibility settings to prevent this from happening.

Cyberpunk developer CD Projekt RED is looking into this option and plans to add a special epileptic seizure warning to the game (which was not there when I wrote this article). However, there is no timetable for when they might appear. It is possible that none of the options will be available at startup.

This means that the only way most people can know they are headed for a potential medical situation is to read the fine print of the game’s EULA, which no one ever does. You will find this warning in section 3.2:

“Cyberpunk 2077 may contain flashing lights and images that can cause epileptic seizures. If you or anyone in your family has epilepsy, consult a doctor before playing Cyberpunk 2077. If you experience dizziness, change in vision, eye or muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, disorientation, any involuntary movement or cramps while playing Cyberpunk 2077, immediately discontinue use and consult a physician. “

But even this “solution” is rubbish if you ask me; this places the burden of “working with” the gameplay on the player, when in fact it should be the game itself, which has a mechanism to reduce or remove graphical elements that can cause seizures. This doesn’t sound like too much of a launch request for the game, and it will provide a more inclusive experience for all players.

What parts of Cyberpunk 2077 can cause an epileptic seizure?

If you have epilepsy, the only alternative, if you want to play Cyberpunk 2077, is to avoid parts of the game that might trigger unwanted reactions. Unfortunately, given the game’s theme, some are inevitable (and some of them can cause more seizures than others). As Ruppert describes:

“Due to the nature of the interactions, there are a lot of red animations with glitches throughout the game. My monitor has an “eye-saving mode” that darkens the blue light on my screen, which I often use to help with this kind of thing, and it helped a lot. During my stay in Night City, there were times when I entered the clubs and bars, which were the immediate danger zone for epileptics. “

And then there is the biggest problem: the “mental faculties” of the game that actually triggered Ruppert’s seizure. This is what they looked like in an earlier version of the game, with a warning from me not to click on a video if you have epilepsy.

Ruppert advises you to skip these scenes entirely – look away or close your eyes when you see your character prepare to jump into those Assassin’s Creed- like memories. Once you get in, you’ll want to be delicate in your gameplay. As she explains:

“Inside the BD, there are several layers for memory ‘exploration’, including a sound wave layer, a heat layer, and a more digitized way of scanning. Each offers specific glitch animations that can be dangerous, especially with a digitized layer. While this cannot be avoided for the plot, you can pause and play as you see fit in these scenarios, which will make it easier to adapt them where needed, or summon a player’s backup friend if absolutely necessary (hello to my husband for helping me out when the discs BDs were longer than usual) ”.

To round out your Cyberpunk survival guide, here are some more gaming tips from the Epilepsy Foundation :

  • Talk to your doctor for an EEG test to help determine if flashing lights may cause seizures. Then you will have a better idea of ​​how to handle the media (games, movies, etc.) that could potentially contain launching content.
  • Sit at least two feet away from the screen in a well-lit room and consider dimming the screen to reduce the chance of light-sensitive reactions.
  • Cover one eye while playing – especially during potentially problematic content – instead of blinking quickly, which in itself can trigger a reaction. Alternate regularly which eye you cover.

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