Saturday, February 26, 2011

Epileptic Seizures in SecondLife "Part 2"

By Avatar JayR Cela

    Let me first make one thing perfectly clear. I am placing no blame here on LL, this subject pertains to all video game's, virtual world's and computer use in general. The point I am however trying to emphasize is the amount of control a user has at their disposal, and how easily accessible that control is. I am not a doctor, therapist or in anyway qualified to make anything other than observations, and propose possible solutions. However I do have a friend that is, here is a letter she just sent me that may be of interest to you on this subject.

In the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, for the principle "Operable", one of the guidelines speaks about avoiding to design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
Specifically, success criterium 2.3.1 of this guideline describes: Three Flashes or Below Threshold: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds.

It is known that flashing content (blinking of an element faster than 3 times per second) can trigger a immediate seizure for individuals with photosensitive seizure disorders or photosensitive epilepsy (PSE). People are even more sensitive to red flashing (transitions including saturated red).

Applications based on graphics, such as Adobe Flash, movies, and games can contain such dangerous flashes.
Second Life for instance, allows to animate textures with scripts (e.g., llSetTextureAnim) at more than 3 times per second.
Also it is possible to create particles that might trigger seizures. Sadly, for a user there is no way to know on beforehand if he or she will arrive on a 'dangerous' place in SL, nor is it possible to turn off this specific feature in the SL viewer.

    Since my last post several friends have informed me that particle effects can easily be turned of with a series of control keys. CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+=
    In other words, press and hold down the Ctrl, ( Command Key on a Mac ) the Alt, and the Shift keys on your keyboard, and then the = key. This will effectively defeat Particle Effect's on your computer screen while using SL.
    Well thats fine and dandy for an experienced user who has taken the time to pour over the various menu's in order to find all of the shortcut keystrokes. First of all you have to activate the Advanced Menu option. CTRL+ALT+D in a V1.x series viewer.

     I gotta hand it to the SnowStorm team for making this a lot easier recently, as Advanced and the Developer menu options are now easily accessible in the main Preferences Setup.

     Now I am a died in the wool Phoenix user, I think everyone already knows that. If you take a look at the following screenshots I will show you how easily this can be accomplished with Phoenix.

Nuff Said

JayR Cela !

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