Balan Wonderworld, a new game from two of the original creators of Sonic the Hedgehog, is out today. But before you jump into the game, make sure you have the first update installed. It fixes sequences in a “potential flashing bug” that could pose a seizure risk. On Thursday, a video of the game’s final boss fight was uploaded to YouTube, and in it there are sporadic moments where the entire screen is taken over by quick white flashes without warning.
“We have received reports of a photosensitive epilepsy risk from a potential flashing error if we play the game not patched,”
Make sure you install Day 1 Patch before playing.
We have received reports of a photosensitive epilepsy risk from a potential flashing error if we play the game not patched.
The Day 1 update prevents this issue and improves the overall gaming experience.
– Balan Wonderworld (@balanwworld) March 26, 2021
The patch comes after Game informant editor Liana Ruppert wrote about the dangerous video on Thursday. You may know Ruppert as the person who wrote about experiencing a grand mal seizure while playing Cyberpunk 2077 before its release, which led to the developer CD Project Red releasing a patch a day after the launch of the game with changes.
Ruppert said people informed her Balan Wonderworld video on Thursday, and when she started watching it, “I had to turn it off immediately. Instantly the right side fell, and I felt the beginning of an episode. ”
She then made a PSA on Twitter about the video and heard some scary stories from others who saw it – even from people without a previous epilepsy story.
Since that tweet went live, I’ve had a lot of people reach out, including developers and other quality developers, saying that they are not even epileptic, but they felt “weird” after seeing them. My husband, who had no previous problems with epilepsy or neurological triggers, complained of dizziness before vomiting. Several others reported the same thing.
I also watched the video in question yesterday and again as I wrote this article. My eyes have been hurting for almost an hour, and my stomach is a little upset even after I only saw it in a small window on YouTube. I can see how someone at risk for seizures can be particularly vulnerable if they played the game on the TV at home and this error occurred. (I do not link to the video because in my opinion it’s just that bad.)
Usually it is many opportunities to catch this type of error, for example in QA testing or through the certification process for the platform. Somehow, though, this apparently Dangerous errors seem to have slipped away from all these potential controls.
I will give Balan Wonderworld developers and publisher Square Enix some credit since they have already addressed the issue of the first update. And CD Projekt Red also acted quickly to fix Cyberpunk 2077. But this should not have been a problem in the first place, and developers, publishers and platform owners need stricter processes to ensure that their games do not pose a health risk.