(Topic ID: 257643)

Serious Question: Epileptic Seizures and Flashing Lamps


By Pecos

3 months ago



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  • 16 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Crash
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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PSE Warning (resized).png

#1 3 months ago

I just put some new fancy Fire LED lamps in the pop bumpers of Gorgar, on route at Hotrods Old Vail last night. I was making light of the fact that these flashing LEDs might cause epileptic seizures. After doing some research, I realize that I should be taking this more seriously.

Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) is triggered by visual stimuli, including quickly flashing images or light sources.

The Fire LEDs, available from Comet Pinball, have four LEDs that flash in a rotating pattern. I don't know much about them, but it looks like there are red, yellow and possibly orange LEDs. These Fire LEDs are a cool effect in Gorgar's pop bumpers, but I don't want to be responsible for triggering an epileptic event. I can either remove them or put a warning on the pin. If I knew they were safe, I would sleep better at night.

This concern is in no way intended to impugn the good name of Comet Pinball or the manufacturers of the lamps.

Have any other pinball operators considered or experienced this problem?

#2 3 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Have any other pinball operators considered or experienced this problem?

Games made with a problem like that usually have warnings on them.

It can happen. If you put something in a game that might trigger that. I'd remove it or have warning signs in place.

LTG : )

#3 3 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Games made with a problem like that usually have warnings on them.
It can happen. If you put something in a game that might trigger that. I'd remove it or have warning signs in place.
LTG : )

Don’t all modern Sterns/JJP pins have a tiny disclaimer on them? I’ve seen them on nearly everything. It’s more a “CYA” typically if you’re at a bar playing you’ve probably lived enough to know if you’ve got Epilepsy

#4 3 months ago
Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

Don’t all modern Sterns/JJP pins have a tiny disclaimer on them? I’ve seen them on nearly everything. It’s more a “CYA” typically if you’re at a bar playing you’ve probably lived enough to know if you’ve got Epilepsy

Yes, most games have this warning. My son has epilepsy and hasn’t had any issues with pinball or video games, but he’s on medication to prevent seizures. If you’re concerned that it could be a potential issue, perhaps tone down the bright lights.

#5 3 months ago

people with epilepsy are triggered by different stimui
the rate of flashing can be fine for one person, but trigger another. and some are not triggered by them at all

stick to EM's, problem sloved

#6 3 months ago

Our bulbs (Comet Pinball) are in a *lot* of games, and nothing seizure related has ever been brought to our attention.

I also personally operate games and this has never crossed my mind. I've seen and heard a lot of worst-case-scenario anecdotes and advice from other operators, but seizures have never been mentioned in that context either.

#7 3 months ago

As others have noted, for 'testing' purposes a doctor will have an epileptic patient in a control room, having them exposed to lighting to see activity on an EKG. But at the same time they often have that person relax and get near sleep. It doesn't necessarily replicate the environment where someone may see or play a game in terms of lights, sounds, energy, etc.

I guess what I am saying is that not only does the response differ for people, someone may have issues with lighting/strobing at one location that wouldn't at another. I guess it could be compared to an allergy that might be life-threatening to one and simply annoying to another.

#8 3 months ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

Our bulbs (Comet Pinball) are in a *lot* of games, and nothing seizure related has ever been brought to our attention.

Ryan, I am not concerned whatsoever about your other LEDs, just this new-to-the-market Fire LED. And it's not the LED itself that I am concerned about, but the application. There is a video on your site showing two Fire LEDs in a building - looks great! You can't see the light source, just the light as it is glowing in the barn. No problem there that I can see.

https://www.cometpinball.com/products/fire-bulbs?_pos=1&_sid=42f145526&_ss=r

But when I put the Fire LEDs in a Gorgar pop bumper with mostly white caps, you can see the points of light and the rotating pattern. That is what concerns me. If there were a lens cap that diffused and spread the light so the individual LEDs couldn't be seen, this might eliminate any possible risk of triggering a seizure and give a better 'fire' effect instead of rotating and blinking lights. These Fire LEDs might not be appropriate in a pop bumper, but I like to experiment and maybe they can be made to work in a pop bumper.

#9 3 months ago

How fast do they flash ? Photo sensitive epilepsy is triggered by high speed flashes (more than 5 per seconds) which is why video games associated with playing in darkness (another trigger) are epilepsy triggerd.

#10 3 months ago
Quoted from adol75:

How fast do they flash ? Photo sensitive epilepsy is triggered by high speed flashes (more than 5 per seconds) which is why video games associated with playing in darkness (another trigger) are epilepsy triggerd.

You can see them briefly at the 6-7 second mark in this video. They flash pretty fast - maybe not a good idea to watch if you have PSE.

#11 3 months ago

Kind of on topic.
Some people don't even know they have a "light sensitivity seizure" problem until it happens. Then it's too late and damage is already done.
I being on the road driving a tractor trailer have put a lot of thought into why our State Troopers around the country get rear ended while being on the side of the road with lights on. You'll hear about the "moth effect" but I think it's something far worse.
They all use these fancy led lights now that can do light shows and strobe. I feel it's a major contributor to these accidents.
Some people are just blinded by the show while I wonder if it causes a medical emergency for others.
So much more on my mind about this but you get the idea.
-Mike

#12 3 months ago

They shouldn't be putting strobes in the machines in the first place for this reason. Just my opinion. I personally dislike them and when they go off all I see is black and my ball ends.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

You can see them briefly at the 6-7 second mark in this video. They flash pretty fast - maybe not a good idea to watch if you have PSE.

It looks quite dimmed and not too flashy. I wouldn’t worry too much in that case.
When you look at Champion’s Pub and its strobe lights during training and multiball, that could definitely start a seizure.

#14 3 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Games made with a problem like that usually have warnings on them.

It can happen. If you put something in a game that might trigger that. I'd remove it or have warning signs in place.

LTG : )

Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

Don’t all modern Sterns/JJP pins have a tiny disclaimer on them? I’ve seen them on nearly everything. It’s more a “CYA” typically if you’re at a bar playing you’ve probably lived enough to know if you’ve got Epilepsy

Quoted from Coz:

Yes, most games have this warning. My son has epilepsy and hasn’t had any issues with pinball or video games, but he’s on medication to prevent seizures. If you’re concerned that it could be a potential issue, perhaps tone down the bright lights.

Quoted from ryanwanger:

I also personally operate games and this has never crossed my mind. I've seen and heard a lot of worst-case-scenario anecdotes and advice from other operators, but seizures have never been mentioned in that context either.

Quoted from jellikit:

As others have noted, for 'testing' purposes a doctor will have an epileptic patient in a control room, having them exposed to lighting to see activity on an EKG. But at the same time they often have that person relax and get near sleep. It doesn't necessarily replicate the environment where someone may see or play a game in terms of lights, sounds, energy, etc.

I guess what I am saying is that not only does the response differ for people, someone may have issues with lighting/strobing at one location that wouldn't at another. I guess it could be compared to an allergy that might be life-threatening to one and simply annoying to another.

Quoted from Grizlyrig:

Some people don't even know they have a "light sensitivity seizure" problem until it happens. Then it's too late and damage is already done.

Quoted from adol75:

How fast do they flash ? Photo sensitive epilepsy is triggered by high speed flashes (more than 5 per seconds) which is why video games associated with playing in darkness (another trigger) are epilepsy triggerd.

Quoted from adol75:

It looks quite dimmed and not too flashy. I wouldn’t worry too much in that case.

They aren't that bright under a pop bumper cap - just the right amount of brightness.

Thanks guys for the info - just what I was looking for.

I will be putting a label on the apron:

"The pop bumpers in this game use LEDs that flash quickly in a rotating pattern that may cause a seizure in those who are prone to Light Sensitivity Epilepsy (PSE). If You have PSE, please do not play this game."

#15 3 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Ryan, I am not concerned whatsoever about your other LEDs, just this new-to-the-market Fire LED.

I was wrong about this. The Fire LEDs have been on the market for years and thousands of people have seen them without any reported incidents of Photosensitive Epilepsy. This makes me sleep better at knight knowing that I won't likely be triggering an epileptic seizure in one of my customers. Pinball is all about fun, and seizures are not fun at all.

Anywho, just to cover my bases and to cover my favorite body part to sit on, I have put this warning sign on Gorgar:

PSE Warning (resized).png

#16 3 months ago

I would be more concerned with standard LED flashers. Those get much brighter and for me are hard to look at. They really suck and are much more likely to trigger an event for someone based on my experience of them nearly blinding me while trying to play certain location games.

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