The social space of free-to-play title VRChat is known for its roleplaying, trolling and subsequent undying memes particularly dominated by False-Ugandan Knuckles that simply wish for everyone to know the way. Just a few days ago, however, players witnessed another player collapse to a seizure while wearing full body tracking.
To add context for those that might not be in the know, VR chat offers its players a virtual world in which everyone dons an avatar, often resembling famous characters from various different franchises. Despite its title, virtual reality equipment is not necessary to delve into the game as players can navigate using mouse and keyboard.
For those that do want to use VR equipment, however, the title is compatible with everything up to full body tracking. Standard VR tracks the movement of the head through sensors in the headset and each hand via sensors in the controllers. With full body tracking, an extra three sensors are placed on each foot and the users waist to truly capture movement as accurately as possible.
In the case of YouTuber Rogue Shadow VR, this allowed him and many other bystanders to witness another player experience a seizure mid-game. At first, many players in the gathering crowd don’t take laboured, gasping breaths and jerking movements of the collapsed player seriously.
Some viewers might find the footage disturbing. It can be an uncomfortable watch.
This instance is perhaps the most human I’ve seen Pokémon, Knuckles and a host of anime characters as the majority gather together to see what they can do to help. Almost ruined by the actions of what looks like a flailing, neon Raggedy Ann doll that the group was concerned could cause another episode, it was a display of raw compassion.
Kotaku managed to get in touch with the anonymous victim of the seizure who wishes only to be known as DrunkenUnicyclist, who describes that he doesn’t remember much. “I do remember feeling cold all the sudden. After that, I woke up and I was on the floor. I could hear these voices.”
This isn’t an isolated incident for the player, who has previously suffered from one when they were five years old, however this is similarly not a recurring condition such as epilepsy. Rogue Shadow VR, however, feels that this is a good chance to spread awareness surrounding epilepsy and other seizure-inducing conditions in the world, as any gamer could come across this same scenario.
Luckily, DrunkenUnicyclist is okay, expressing how much he appreciates people being there once the seizure was over. “It’s really amazing that people can come together like that over somebody who’s in distress. In a world where nobody even knows each other, really.”
KitGuru Says: There’s not much that can be done if this happens, aside from giving the player visual space in case they are still wearing a headset, not giving advice to the victim unless it is medically proven to help them, letting the seizure pass on its own as almost all interference can cause further harm and being there to talk to them once it’s all said and done. Well done to this community, and I hope they lead by example.