VR chat participant appears to have a photosensitive seizure


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/19/seizure-in-cyberspace.html


I’m old.  


Christ, I almost had a seizure watching this dude talk - that whole constant-tiny-cuts effect is so damn weird. I, too, am old.


“The entire community is coming together for the betterment of one person… don’t be that one guy”

Golden words in the internet age.


Well, there’s one Black Mirror episode in the can for season 5.


I wonder if VR could really trigger a seizure. Is there a steady FPS like teevee, or is it all over the place like most games? I’ve never heard of Minecraft causing seizures.


The EEG examinations I have taken test for photosensitivity with an illuminated screen which almost fills your field of vision, and which pulses at around 9 Hz. It is possible that a VR picture could update at a rate which triggers a seizure, though the ideal signal would have a high amplitude in intensity, not just stuff changing.

Having said that the avatar is showing too much movement to be an accurate representation of somebody in a grand mal, IMO.


This doesn’t surprise me about VRChat since I’ve seen that for years on SecondLife. I swear I heard a voice that was familiar on there from SL that I just thought “nope” and logged off. I don’t see how anyone can be interested in talking to a pack of rabid sociopaths.

Also about the possible seizure. Personally I think it’s likely real since all the other effects from VR headgear doesn’t seem to be easily fixed like nausea or the screen door effect. It’s just one of those things I really doubt we’ll see go away completely until we get to some post-headgear VR setup like a brain to computer interface for visualization.


A good VR game will have frame rates that are higher and more steady than most other media because you will get sick without a crazy high frame rate. The games that can’t control it are quickly abandoned for making people sick.


Yeah. That or you get the screen door effect (no clue if that’s due to the frame rate or something else regarding the screens used in the headgear).


I’m about to turn 33 tomorrow with gray whiskers coming in and I play on VRChat from time to time. Alot of the bro stuff can get tiring but it’s not as overwhelming as you think.

The game’s graphics aren’t that high end. Everything is ran off Unity. I mean 90% of the user made areas look like they’re from a mid era Wii game. It doesn’t push the graphics when playing through a regular old lcd monitor (yes, you don’t need vr to play).

They say that the participant experienced a flicker-triggered photosensitive epileptic seizure while wearing a motion-capture suit, causing the participant’s avatar to mimic the real-world seizure in VR.

Also, the majority of the people who play through VR only use the regular controllers to move their hands and a small number of them use extra sensors that can be put on feet and/or on your waist. No full mo cap suit necessary. Like shown in the video below.

(Sorry, I just had to correct a few things here about this.)


If their motions are faster than the VR system can handle then it will tend to “skip” around a bit trying to keep the avatar up to date with where it thinks it should be.


It looks like VRChat locks to 90fps or 45fps on VR headsets to prevent nausea.


I’m just glad Ugandan Knuckles over there didn’t start spitting on him in unison.

VRChat is a very strange place sometimes…


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