Video Game Gave Me Seizures, Says Grounded Navy Fighter Pilot

A former US Navy F-18 fighter pilot is suing Sony, Bethesda and Zenimax claiming that the Playstation 3 version of Oblivion: The Elder Scrolls IV gave him a grand mal seizure, breaking his shoulder and permanently grounding him.

In the suit, John Ryan McLaughlin says that on March 28, 2010, he was playing the game on the PS3 when he experienced a grand mal seizure, the first in his life. The seizure was so severe he broke a bone in his shoulder, and injured his ribs, according to the suit. He was later diagnosed with a seizure disorder, something he blames directly on the game

McLaughlin also claims that the seizures resulted in the United States Navy taking away his flight privileges as an F-18 pilot.

Reached Wednesday, Bethesda declined to comment about the litigation.

Pilot Claims 'Oblivion' Video Game Gave Him Grand Mal Seizures [Courthouse News Service]


    Oblivion? Oblivion doesn't really have any seizurific moments. I would have thought he was playing Touhou.

    sounds like bullhonkey. There have never been any reports of Oblivion giving seizures before, and that game is what, four years old now?

    This guy was probably playing the game while sitting 2 inches from the TV in a dark room - with a strobe light going on.

    But, I guess it wouldn't be 'MERICA if you didn't try to blame someone else for your problems

      ... whilst bobbing around in a massive storm on a carrier...

    I'm no doctor, but I thought that seizures were caused by a problem with the subjects brain. Oblivion didn't break the guys brain, it just triggered a response highlighting a problem that was already there.

      I can imagine that a video game can trigger a seizure in those that are susceptible to them. I don't think it can make people who aren't susceptible suddenly have seizures.

      The part of this that I find really amazing is that I can't think of a single stimuli in a video game like Oblivion that a fighter pilot would not have been subjected to in training.

      How this guy managed to get up in the air without this being discovered sooner is the real surprise here.

        'How this guy managed to get up in the air without this being discovered sooner is the real surprise here.'

        Exactly. If a game like Oblivion can give him a seizure, he should never have been a pilot.

    *blink* *blink*
    Don't ALL games have an advisory warning you that flashing lights may cause issues for some people?

    And there's no reason to believe a game is capable of creating a seizure disorder. Something would have been wrong prior to the game.
    The game causing his first known seizure != The game creating a disorder.

    Heck, my first seizure happened while asleep in my bed ... clearly I should sue the company that made the bed.

    "Stop! You have violated the law! Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence."

    A game cannot cause a medical condition like that. It can trigger an underlying condition to become active, (it may have given him a siezure, but that's covered in the EULA normally) but only in those who have an underlying susceptibility to them. Sorry, flyboy. You won't win this one

    All games come with warnings to take a break after the first two hours of play for at least an hour for exactly this reason.

    The specific game is not to blame, but the blinking light patterns are somewhat responsible for _triggering_ a seizure.

    He's looking at it wrong. If the airforce had known he was capable of a light induced seizure they would never have let him fly in the first place.

    Sucks; yes. Is it bethesda's problem; no.


    If they were prone to seizures it was an underlying condition and not something they contracted because of the game.

    And are you seriously telling me F18 pilots don't undergo some test to see if those flashing lights on their console won't cause a seizure mid-air with a multi-million dollar plane?

    Also if that was the first, what other seizures did they experience, and from what. Will all of those get sued also? Face it mate you got a sucky hand of life-cards now play what you've got and quit blaming other people. Shit happens.

    This makes me wonder if they test for seizures during your medical to become a pilot? I mean, if it's enough to ground you, then it should be something they test for before you get your wings in the first place (like they do for eyesight etc)...

    It's likely that the game may have triggered it, but it's certainly not the *cause*. That's underlying and he's damn lucky he found out this way and not when flying a jet.

    It may be this was a freak event, or he may have further episodes later on. Either way, suing the game makers is ridiculous.

    I'm McLaughlin at you John Ryan!

    Seriously, the guy should have never been a pilot in the first place if he had this disorder. As others have said, he would(SHOULD) have been exposed to every single piece of stimuli present in Oblivion during training.

    It's lucky he didn't kill someone or himself and he is having himself on if he thinks he is going to get even a cent from Sony/Beth/Zenimax

    He's going to end up having to pay thousands in legal fees and most likely ruin his life even more.

    McLaughlin my head off.

    Oh im taking a whizz and I have a grand mal seizure, must have been taking a piss that triggered it.

    F-18? I think you mean F/A-18. Original author got it wrong, but that's no excuse to repeat it.

    i love the game shoot out and grounded i love u baee

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