Niantic is working to fix an issue in Pokemon Go that can potentially cause seizures in some players. Yesterday, ComicBook.com reported that a recent Pokemon Go update seemed to be causing medical issues with some players with photosensitivity issues. In response to that article, Niantic provided ComicBook.com with the following statement: "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."
The transition time mentioned in Niantic's comment occurs when the game switches between the overworld map and the Pokemon encounter screen. A longer transition screen appears when players tap on a Pokemon on the map, while a short flash accompanies when a player flees a Pokemon encounter. Although the game has always had a white transitional screen, several players on TheSilphRoad community of Reddit noted that it was recently causing issues with those who had photosensitive epilepsy or other medical conditions triggered by bright flashes. As Niantic is known to follow TheSilphRoad community on Reddit, many players hoped that mentioning it on the community would bring it to Niantic's attention.
Sadly, the Pokemon franchise has a history with seizure-causing incidents, including the infamous airing of the Pokemon anime episode "Denno Sensei Porygon." Nearly 700 children in Japan were taken to hospitals after complaining of various ailments after one sequence in that episode, leading to the story getting picked up by news organizations around the world. 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, has never appeared in any other anime episode, nor has its two evolutions.
Expect a new Pokemon Go update to get released this week to address this issue.