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BBC: "Nintendo knew about games triggering seizures"

22 April, 2004

The video games company Nintendo knew that its products may trigger seizures in children, a BBC programme broadcast this week has alleged.

The BBC Three programme 'Outrageous Fortunes',
shown on Monday, claimed to have evidence that Nintendo knew that some
of its games could trigger seizures in some children and chose not to
remove the provocative sections from the games.

However, according to the Observer,
a spokesman for Nintendo denied the accusation and said that the
company had been adhering to its own voluntary guidelines for over 15
years:

"The
notion that Nintendo would knowingly include in its games material that
it knew could cause seizures is ridiculous. There is nothing more
important to us than the health and well being of our players. We are
aware of the Independent Television Commission guidelines
for broadcast television. However, in the absence of established
guidelines for video games, Nintendo voluntarily prepared and
implemented its own internal guidelines for game design and development
in 1988.

"We
began including a warning about seizures with our games in the UK in
1993. We were the first video game company to provide such warnings."

Unlike
television broadcasters, the video game industry is not governed by
regulations regarding the use of flashing lights and patterns on the
screen.