27/01/2021 Psyonix is adding an ‘Effect Intensity’ toggle in Rocket League’s next update
Rocket League’s newest arena, Neon Fields, has come under fire for reportedly causing a player to have seizures. The player in question posted about their plight on Reddit, after making a throwaway account named u/psyonixistrynakillme to emphasise their point.
Their post says that “the new map is giving [them] seizures,” and that any previous attempts to contact Psyonix support on social media were met with limp apologies. The player says that they have played an astonishing 3,500 hours of Rocket League, but the new map renders their favourite game unplayable. The Loadout has reached out to the player for further clarification of their circumstances.
The Neon Fields arena was released at the beginning of Season Two, and the match is seemingly played in the middle of a luminescent rave. A subwoofer pumps above the pitch, a huge stage lies to one side, and neon lights coalesce across the walls, creating patterns of crowds and equalisers. It’s an exciting concept, but potentially dangerous for players at risk of seizures.
There is currently no way to remove a map from your queue of games, or to skip playing on certain arenas. Ideally, u/psyonixistrynakillme asks that the map be removed, but says that any setting to change the flashing lights would be welcome. They also note that Rocket League doesn’t have an epilepsy warning when you start up the game, which is commonplace in many games.
Last month, Cyberpunk 2077 came under fire for failing to implement warnings before potentially triggering braindance scenes, which caused Game Informer’s associate editor Liana Ruppert to suffer a grand mal seizure. She describes the in-game event as “a rapid onslaught of white and red blinking LEDs, much like the actual device neurologists use in real life to trigger a seizure when they need to trigger one for diagnosis purposes.”
The flashing lights in Rocket League are not as obvious triggers as those in Cyberpunk 2077, but many players predicted this when the arena was first released. In the r/RocketLeague discussion thread for the new arena, u/Kasket81 commented 26 days ago to say “it should come with a seizure warning.”
Other players in the Rocket League subreddit have rallied around u/psyonixistrynakillme in an attempt to draw attention to the dangers of the arena. Many note that “disliking” a map in-game – the only option to try to avoid it while continuing to play the game – does not remove it from your potential arenas, only decreasing the likelihood of playing there. A few other players in the thread say that the arena has caused them nausea or headaches also.
Psyonix did not provide The Loadout with a comment when requested but did announce on January 26, three weeks after our original story was posted, that it was adding an ‘Effect Intensity’ setting to the Neon Fields arena. You can read about the new accessibility feature in our follow-up article.