The House of Commons yesterday debated the merits of requiring game developers to ensure that their software won’t cause players to experience epileptic seizures, reports Spong.
The issue was raised by Conservative John Penrose after a constituent’s son experienced what is known as photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) while playing Ubisoft’s Rayman Raving Rabbids. Penrose argued:
A couple of games-makers, notably Ubisoft, with which I have been in contact, have decided voluntarily and admirably to apply the sort of screening that I am suggesting to their games… and I hope that many other games manufacturers will follow their example.
The point is that some games manufacturers may decide to do that, but there is a huge number of games-makers and manufacturers throughout the world. Some are large and responsible, such as Ubisoft, but as in any industry, there is a large number of manufacturers who are relatively tiny, and although some may be responsible, we cannot be sure.
Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Margaret Hodge, however, seemed to favor pursuing a voluntary compliance approach rather than a statutory one:
If I am unsuccessful in extending voluntary agreement for a voluntary code of conduct or if we find that it is insufficient, we can always return to the matter at a later stage.
I would like to take the issue away from today’s debate and meet with ELSPA … to see what progress can be made on a voluntary code of conduct.