Over the last year, UK mom ("mum" is the word over there, we believe) Gaye Herford has been fighting to change the way games are tested before they are sent to retail. Her 10-year-old son, while playing Rayman Raving Rabbids, went into an epileptic fit. She had no idea that games could send players into photo sensitive epileptic (PSE) seizures. We guess she hasn't seen the intro splash screen Nintendo has had around since the Pokémon incident.
But, after a long year, she has won her battle. Ubisoft has volunteered to do the testing itself and will try to ensure such a thing does not happen again. Herford also managed to secure a debate in Parliament, for a future date that is yet to be determined. "As a parent myself, I was shocked that a single game could possibly trigger a sudden first-time seizure, with its life-long implications," says Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose, who helped Herford in her battle. "Right now, most electronic game publishers simply issue written warnings about PSE on or inside their products - and that's on a voluntary basis. But that's no good for the thousands of people with dormant PSE because they don't know the warnings - if they even read them - apply to them."
At the time of the article, no comment was made by Nintendo. Ubisoft did say, though, that testing of Rayman: Raving Rabbids on the DS "showed that no images posed a high risk for photosensitivity epilepsy. However, we made a corporate decision to pre-screen and pre-test all Ubisoft in-house developed games regardless of platform, prior to publication."