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2012 Olympic logo in epilepsy panic

Well, it’s a convenient way to ditch one of the uglier aspects of an already ugly campaign, promoting an ugly event…

From the BBC site:

A segment of animated footage promoting the 2012 Olympics has been removed from the organisers’ website after fears it could trigger epileptic seizures.

Prof Graham Harding, who developed the test used to measure photo-sensitivity levels in TV material, said it should not be broadcast again. Charity Epilepsy Action said it had received calls from people who had suffered fits after seeing it. Organiser London 2012 said it will re-edit the film.

Emphasising that it was not the logo itself which was the focus of worries, [a spokeperson] said: “This concerns a short piece of animation which we used as part of the logo launch event and not the actual logo.”

She said the section of footage concerned showed a “diver diving into a pool which had a multi-colour ripple effect”.

The spokeswoman said: “We are taking it very seriously and are looking into it as a matter of urgency.”

This all brings back fond memories of the panic surrounding a segment of the Pokemon cartoon series which, when shown in Japan, was said to have triggered seizures in thousands of children. From Fortean Times:

“Although widely regarded as a simple case of mass epileptic seizures, the 1997 Pokémon panic is clearly much more complex. With very few exceptions, much of the media overlooked the possibility of mass hysteria, even though so many possibly contributing factors were visible. Several researchers have noted that episodes of mass hysteria are probably far more common than we currently think. The Pokémon incident should remind us all that such episodes may occur right under our noses, and that many strange events that do not, on the face of it, appear to be mass hysteria may turn out to be exactly that.”

The full story over at Fortean Times and here’s the guilty segment as a flash animation (a Youtube vidseo has apparently been pulled by concerned parties).

Thanks Mike Jay!