Vivendi, Sony sued over epileptic seizure

New York woman alleges that gamemakers are responsible for seizures suffered by her infant after playing Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for the PS2.

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When it was released in 2002, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly was panned by critics who accused it of offering a choppy frame rate, buggy gameplay, lengthy load times, and a dull story. Last month, the game received a more serious knock against it, as a New York woman whose infant suffered a grand mal seizure while playing Enter the Dragonfly filed suit against Vivendi Games, Sierra Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and a defunct rental store called Hiawatha Video.

The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, claims that the defendants were "negligent, careless, and reckless with regard to the design and manufacture" of Spyro, such that the game was dangerous when used in the intended manner, and that they failed to properly warn consumers of that danger. According to the suit, the child suffered severe and permanent disabling injuries that will affect him "in all activities of daily living" and necessitate lifelong medical expenses.

The PS2 edition of Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly came with a notice on the inside front cover of the instruction manual advising consumers that "a very small percentage of individuals may experience epileptic seizures when exposed to certain light patterns or flashing lights." The notice also tells users to stop playing immediately if they experience specific symptoms of epilepsy, and to consult a physician before resuming play.

On behalf of her child, the woman is seeking damages "for such fair and reasonable amount as may be awarded by a jury of his peers," along with whatever other relief the court may deem just and proper. Earlier this week, Sony requested that the woman specify the total amount of damages she's seeking.

As of press time, neither Vivendi nor Sony representatives had returned GameSpot's request for comment.

This is not the first time a gamemaker has faced a lawsuit over epileptic seizures. In August of 2003, Nintendo won a case in Louisiana against a woman whose son died as the result of a seizure he suffered while playing the Nintendo 64. The judge in that case ruled in Nintendo's favor after the woman failed to respond to the publisher's motion for summary judgment.

Discussion

899 comments
Impostorzim
Impostorzim

I love the fact that the Spyro games were chart topping until Insomniac stopped working on them. I knew Enter the Dragonfly was a bad game, but I didn't think it was bad enough to permenantly damage you!!

ATL14
ATL14

wait a minute, who won the case?

allygamegal
allygamegal

I agree with Spaceoffz... Vivendi, what have you done??!?!?!

allygamegal
allygamegal

Sigh... poor kid... I also felt bad that Insomniac Games have to hand the legendary Spyro to Vivendi Universal... I still don't understand... oh, well. the trilogy rocks and that's that XD

-WHATTHEDUECE-
-WHATTHEDUECE-

When i first heard about this i laughed to myself.. "holy crap, a game so terrible it gives whoever plays it seizures!" but after reading what has actually happened to the child and the life long effects it will have on him... i feel just plain terrible, poor kid.

DoctorSoctopus
DoctorSoctopus

Can somebody PLEASE explain to me why this woman did not read the little slip in the box and let an infant play a video game?

rpd234
rpd234

yeah the first spyro trilogy was great but after that its should be laid to rest with the next game.

j19000
j19000

I own the PS2 version of that game, and I'm very surprised and upset about this. Mine is also the Platinum version but yeah, that's beyond wrong.

Phoenix8387
Phoenix8387

no yuginodo, this is almost as funny as the guy who sued McDonald's because their coffee was hot. Theres a warning on EVERY SINGLE manual that games CAN cause seizures. Its not their fault a small amount of people suffer seizures with certain light patterns.

Spaceoffz
Spaceoffz

yuginodo, you are not xD. This was a disgrace to the series, and I hate Vivendi for what they did to spyro. They deserve it, I hate all of their games.

pixelsword
pixelsword

Sounds like she needs meth money...

yuginodo
yuginodo

am I the only feeling guilty about finding this sadistically funny?

NJTsunami
NJTsunami

So let me get this straight...she is suing these companies because SHE allowed an infant to play a video game and couldn't be bothered to research what she was putting in the kid's hands? My god, does anyone have any common sense anymore!?!?! It's all about the money!! Look at her filing: "the woman is seeking damages for such fair and reasonable amount as may be awarded by a jury of his peers." AKA...I'll take whatever money they decide.

Red_Knight_Alex
Red_Knight_Alex

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Red_Knight_Alex
Red_Knight_Alex

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mugensur
mugensur

lol kemar7856 fanboy This is getting out of control. My dad told me the best way to make money here was by suing people. But people here make lame ass excuses >.

solide
solide

When you buy a gun, is there a manual supplied telling the owner that bullets kill people? When buying a car, does there come a booklet with it stating that when you hit a tree hard enough, your car might get damaged, and you might get disabled/die ? As far as I know, the answer would be "No" However both the PS2 and game come with warnings, that and any well parent would know that when you have a kid with this inabillity, you shouldn't make them play games in a dark area for long sessions. I live in Europe, and if we tried to sue Sony, for the same reason this woman does, the judge, would laugh at me, and so would the jury.

tomelus
tomelus

I have epilepsy. If the mother knew that her kid had it, then she was stupid for letting the kid play it. The seizures are caused by flashing strobe light effects in frontal lobe epilepsy patients. Mine is not there so I can game all I want. Bottom line is if she knew about the epilepsy and still let him play, it's her fault. there are warnings all over the boxes. If not, then it sucks that it happened.

killjoy188
killjoy188

Since everyone seems really confused about the kid's age: legally, an infant is the same as a minor. So this kid could theoretically be 17 years old, we don't know. Hopefully we'll find out when the ruling of the case is announced...

pavel1104
pavel1104

I don't mean to be crass, but.... What a dumb b****. RTFM b4 letting your infant play, and WHY THE HELL IS AN INFANT PLAYING! The way I see it, if you aren't able to read, you can't play video games. Only in America.

kemar7856
kemar7856

inst this game for gc 2 how come nintendo not getting sued

dunit13
dunit13

I'd have a seisure if I played this pile of crap for longer than I did that game made me so mad I remember being like 10 and being like omg its Spyro "Mom I want that for Christmas!" I sold it in my garage sale later that year. I still cry a tear of a painful Christmas that year.

Food_Nipple
Food_Nipple

There's a warning about this stuff on the back of every single game box.

chakan2
chakan2

Why the heck is a small infant playing video games anyway TV = Baby Sitter Chick filing lawsuit = Gold digger

Saxmachine09
Saxmachine09

i feel bad for the mother and the infant, by why was he playing a video game? isn't he a little young? i mean, if your child can't even use a toilet, is alright to let them play a video game?

Megaforte
Megaforte

oh wow one y is a kid playing video games when he is an infant,also that pokemon episode that gave seizers in japan but oh well i hope the kid is okay

Gamingod2272
Gamingod2272

Why the heck is a small infant playing video games anyway. Are parents really that careless. God dang it this country... weird for this to be the first in 5 years.

Vexonater
Vexonater

I suppose it makes sense to have a 2 year old playing videogames anyway, huh?

zappa02
zappa02

LOL Sony had it comeing!!! :P

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

I may not be a lawyer, law professor, or legal expert but I have been a gamer for more than 15 years. I am 100 percent certain that for most of the last 15 years there have been warnings that appear on the screen or printed in the instruction manuals that warn about this very issue. I am failing to understand how this person, although I am not belittling here situation, is claiming the game maker as liable for her failure to take into consideration the disclaimers that come with every game.

BillyLeeBlack51
BillyLeeBlack51

They do put warnings. Every game and every console comes with a warning on the very first page.

motang
motang

Maybe Sony should put the warning that Nintendo has been doing for years now on new games. That could help them cover themselves.

BillyLeeBlack51
BillyLeeBlack51

Negligent, ignorant parent who is only trying to cash in on her child's misfortune. I love how american parents always use the "how was I supposed to know it was bad?" excuse. They never seem to take the time to research anything, prefering to just sue after something like this happens. Parents need to take far more responsibility.

SilverPhoenix47
SilverPhoenix47

@Veveqa: "However, notice that a rental place is involved. Quite likely the game was rented without a manual and/or insert card. This means that, as Sony's games don't normally warn about epilepsy in-game, there might have been no warning delivered at all." ------ Unless she rented the system as well (unlikely), the PS2 manual itself has the same notice that comes with every game. Also, (nearly) every game manufactured in the last decade has had that exact same warning--only a very few, published by third-party devs and not officially sanctioned by Sony, would not have had that warning in the manual... and since the warning's in the PS2 book, it's a moot point either way. The only way for the rental store to be at fault here would be IF they didn't provide the manual. Sony fulfilled their requirements toward consumer safety by publishing a warning to begin with (PS2 manual). Sierra and/or Vivendi might be able to be held liable, if it's decided that the warning should have been hard-coded onto the disc to begin with--otherwise, no case against them either, as the warning is in the booklet. And even if the warning was on the disc, like Nintendo's been doing--does anyone really stop to read it every time? Don't most of us just frantically press 'X' (or 'A', etc) to skip right to the load screen? In other words, for the end user (the kid), what difference would where the warning was have made? Mommy dearest would have skipped right over it either way. -------------------------------------------- Does anyone know how old the kid is? "Infant" usually refers to a child 3 or younger--what the heck is a kid that young doing playing video games to begin with? Our pediatrician insisted on "no TV before 1 year old"; I'm sure she'll have similar cautions about games (not that I'd let my kids play from that young anyway--go play with something that makes you use your brain).

Rhaxdric
Rhaxdric

There's a warning on the game's box, I don't know why people try to sue for this.

kelly6xs
kelly6xs

I would just like to know how long this kid was playing the game for. More than likely it was a negligent parent who didn't read the warnings and who could care less how close the kid sat to the tv or how long he played. Maybe Mom should have shut the game down for awhile and have made the kid read a book or get some exercise. I love video games but seems like they are the new cause of obesity in children these days also. I think the mom should be questioned a little more on her actions because it sounds to me the kid has epilepsy that was undiagnosed rather than the video causing it. Video games don't cause disease but they can affect the disease.

raedman
raedman

LOL SONY! Now this? For once I am actually supporting you. The parent should be arrested for letting her kid play such a terrible game...

Disciple_Gamer
Disciple_Gamer

I am starting to wonder about this country after reading this.

Yazu13
Yazu13

This won't go far. There is a warning on the back of every single game stating that they could cause seizures.

fanboy_killa
fanboy_killa

Glucian wrote-----I just pray this woman doesn't let the kid watch DBZ when it gets older. *shrug*. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- it's funny you say this Glucian, in japan b4 the whole POKEMON craze hit the US, there were literally 100s or 1000s of children that had to be rushed to the hospital due to an episode of POKEMON that sent kids into seizures. they showed a pic of the episode in EGM and i think i still have that issue somewhere. the colors they pictured did look nauseating. gosh that was like early '90s. someone may have already mentioned this in the posts here....anyway, regardless of how this turns out, let's all wish this kid well.

geo888
geo888

I feel bad for the kid, but its lawsuits like these that make us have to go through those stupid warning screens when we turn on the ds.

acu02151
acu02151

According to the suit, the child suffered severe and permanent disabling injuries that will affect him "in all activities of daily living" and necessitate lifelong medical expenses. Hmm that sounds to me like she believes spyro caused her sun to have epilepsy which obviously isn't the case.

supra_viper
supra_viper

again, LOL stupid idiot, they put warnings on the manual that clearley say "dont play this game if you suffer from Epilepsy." SHE WONT GET A DAMN PENNY LOL

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

It sucks for the kid, but it's not the gamer manufacturer's fault that certain people are prone to seizures, they just are. That said, no one provides this warning better than Nintendo, who I believe hard wired the warning into the DS, Wii, and GC(?). Maybe everyone needs to meet that bar.

coollizy
coollizy

And people wonder why Nintendo feels they have to stuff those annoying seizure warning screens before all their games.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Dur! That's why the put the WARNING in the FRONT of EVERY game manual. Stupid lady.