Pokemon Go Players Warn of Potential Seizure-Causing Bug
Pokemon Go players are alerting the game's community after noticing a bug that some claim could cause seizures. Earlier this week, a Reddit user alerted the Silph Road Pokemon Go community after noticing a problematic bug. The user claimed that a recent update to the game caused a "bright white flash" to appear when they tapped on a Pokemon. The user noted that they have epilepsy, and the repeated flashes triggered the symptoms that often preceded a seizure. The post received over 4,400 upvotes as other players commented on the issue, with some also noting that the game had caused similar pre-seizure issues or other issues such as migraines.
Although some players noted that the issues seemed to worsen with the most recent update, other players have noted that the bright white flash has appeared for a while in the game. There are two places where the flash appears - a long flash occurs when players tap on a Pokemon and the game transitions from the map to the encounter screen, while a much shorter flash appears when players flee a Pokemon encounter. However, the most recent update does seem to cause the former white screen to appear for a longer period of time, which could be triggering the new wave of issues.
Players have alerted Niantic Support about the issue, so hopefully Niantic takes notice and puts in a quick fix soon.
The Pokemon franchise has a history of causing seizures, dating back to an incident in which 700 children in Japan were taken to hospitals after complaining of various ailments while watching an episode of the anime. Because of the incident, the Pokemon anime went on a 4-month hiatus in Japan and numerous guidelines were put in place limiting certain kinds of visual effects. Additionally, the Pokemon Porygon, which was featured in the episode that caused the seizures, has never appeared in any other anime episode, nor has its two evolutions. Ironically, it was an animation involving Pikachu, not Porygon, that triggered the issues in children.
UPDATE: Niantic reached out to ComicBook.com to provide the following update about this issue. "A recent change in the game altered the transition time between screens. We're working as quickly as possible to correct this issue and expect to publish an app update this week to correct it."