Can Applet flickering elicit epileptic attacks?

m0nik3r m0nik3r at
Fri Mar 14 19:52:35 EST 1997

(IMHO) This raises an interesting point .. the perceived flicker rate is
indeterminate for almost all but intentional cases, and floats around
some fixed frequency determined by the monitor.  I'd say you have no way
of controlling it one way or the other, and therefore would not be
liable.  Of course, you can ALMOST ALWAYS be sued, regardless of the
strength of the case.


Pat Caruthers wrote:

  In article
  <Pine.GSO.3.95.970313182528.24163C-100000 at>,
  Anthonie Muller <awjm at> writes:
  |> Hi everyone,
  |> I know that fluctuating light can induce epileptic attacks
  |> (by the way, is any mechanism known? I am a biophysicist, and
  know a
  |> little bit about epilepsy).
  |> Now Applets flicker a lot.
  |> I know that the flicker can be diminished with double buffering,
  |> but nevertheless some flickering remains.
  |> Can I choose a certain sleep time value in my Applet?
  |> Should I put a disclaimer for epileptics on my website?
  |> Does anyone know about the legal aspects of this all? Can I get
  |> Or is there no problem at all?

  a new set of questions.
  a whole new set of potential legal pit falls....gee, thanks.

  This is photosensitive epilepsy.
  it is not a common form but does seem to be becoming more common
  these days.  Possibly it's just being more noticed because of all
  flashing lights around us.

  photosensitives usually are responding to blinking at a frequency <
  but there are some who have trouble with the refresh rate of normal
  (which is more like 75Hz).  In general though, the faster the rate
  less likely it is to trigger a seizure.

  It seems that you are more likely to slow down (and hense
  aggravate) the flicker by sleeps.

  I have never heard of any suits taking place, but i have heard of
  game manufacturer's putting in such a warning.  Warnings generally
  that some lawyer at least Thought there was a rist of a suit...

  your call about CYA.


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