Pokémon, the iconic anime and video game franchise, has captured the hearts and minds of children and adults around the world for over two decades. But in 1997, a strange event occurred in Japan that raised concerns about the safety of the Pokémon anime.
On December 16, 1997, the Pokémon episode “Dennō Senshi Porygon” (or “Electric Soldier Porygon”) aired on TV Tokyo, causing a massive public health scare. The episode featured a rapid succession of flashing lights and intense visual stimuli, and it wasn’t long before reports of seizures and other health problems began to surface.
Soon, the episode became infamous, and rumors began to spread that Pokémon could actually cause epilepsy in viewers. Parents were warned to keep their children away from the anime, and schools across Japan banned the show from their classrooms.
But was there any truth to the claims that Pokémon could cause epilepsy? The answer is a little more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. While the episode was certainly intense, and did trigger seizures in a small number of viewers, there is no evidence to suggest that Pokémon is inherently dangerous or that it can cause epilepsy in all viewers.
In reality, the seizures were caused by a combination of factors, including the viewer’s individual susceptibility to epilepsy, the specific episode and the way it was animated, and even the TV sets and viewing conditions of the viewers. In other words, the “Dennō Senshi Porygon” episode was a unique, one-of-a-kind event, and there is no reason to believe that other episodes of Pokémon, or other anime or video games, pose a risk to viewers.
The Pokémon episode that caused epilepsy in Japan remains a fascinating and mysterious episode in the franchise’s history. While the episode was eventually banned from reruns, and the Pokémon anime was revised to prevent similar incidents from happening again, the episode lives on as a cautionary tale about the power of media and the importance of understanding the underlying causes of health problems.
So, can Pokémon give you epilepsy? The answer is not as simple as a yes or no. The “Dennō Senshi Porygon” episode was a unique event, and there is no evidence to suggest that Pokémon, or any other anime or video game, is inherently dangerous. However, it is important to remember that media can have real-world effects, and that it is always a good idea to be cautious and informed when consuming media of any kind.