By Liana Ruppert and Drew Tucker
In September 2021, we shared our initiative into making sure all players that want to enjoy Destiny 2 can. This includes many areas of making games more accessible, including areas of game design that can negatively impact those with photosensitivity concerns.
Destiny 2 may contain flashing patterns and images that may produce adverse effects for a small percentage of people sensitive to them.
A common misconception about seizures is that they can only happen in those who have been diagnosed with epilepsy. That is, unfortunately, not the case - they can occur in anyone for a plethora of reasons. There is also no "one type" of photosensitive seizure, which can make navigating safety concerns tricky. As mentioned previously, this is a slow and steady process for us here at Bungie but it is something we are committed to.
So, what can you do in the meantime? Here are some tips:
First, keep an eye out for what can help elevate the risks of epileptic reactions, such as:
- Sleep deprivation
- Specific hours of the day
- When you're ill or with a fever
- Flashing lights at a certain rate, speed, and color (most commonly red and white)
- Alcohol or excessive drug consumption
- Women can sometimes be more susceptible when on their menstrual cycle
- Diet restriction, drastic changes in diet
- Certain medications
- Heat or extreme cold
- Hormone shifts
- Excess caffeine
Second, here are some tips that may help navigate potential risks:
- Sit at least two feet away from the screen, when possible.
- Try to keep your gaming area well-lit to reduce the impact of flashing lights as the sole focus
- Dim your screen's brightness.
- Invest in a monitor/TV screen that offers an Eye-Saver Mode. This will eliminate blue light, which has helped people with red and white flashing.
- Some monitors offer glare guards and flicker-free settings.
- Blue light filtering glasses are also under review to help and are something several members of our team use when diving in themselves.
- Try not to play a game if you're in a state of extreme exhaustion.
- Don't forget to take breaks, often.
- Pay attention to how you're feeling.
- If you start to feel "off," don't ignore that. Identify what triggered that change in feeling and take a moment to step away.
- In extreme instances, you can also alternate covering one eye over the other and switching off periodically. This is especially helpful for focal epileptics.
- Try not to play anything when you are home alone, if possible.
- If you live alone, have a plan in place with a close friend or neighbor should you need help.
- Play around with in-game settings.
- Disable motion-blur, if applicable.
With strides of improvement being made in gaming, it's still very much a learning process. We, as with many other studios, will continue to evolve and learn. Our community plays a major role in that, so if you have any accessibility-related concerns to share, please feel free to share them with us through our Help Forum.