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Posted by Vanessa on September 04, 2000 at 18:08:25:

Oh my! It's right here in Drummond's paper Grandma, look

On December 16, 1999, after watching the television show "Pokemon", hundreds of children were rushed to hospitals with symptoms ranging from nausea and convulsions to unconsciousness. TV Tokyo blamed the outbreak of illness on a scene which moved back and forth in rapid succession between bright red and blue.

It was also claimed that sitting too close to the screen may have intensified the harmful effects.

A spokesman for TV Tokyo informed viewers that guidelines had been implemented to ensure that intense flashing would not be used in the future, and viewers were advised to watch television programs in a well-lit room while seated as far from the screen as possible. The authors suggest that proximity from the screen was not a factor, but that the sudden rash of illness was brought on by excess exposure to two dimensional input of flashing vivid colours and inconceivable scenes portraying bizarre characters who communicate in unnatural tones. The incident in Japan should be a strong warning signal to scientists that television input, in particular cartoons, can be dangerous to young children. Furthermore, early exposure to television may disrupt the brain's normal pattern of development.

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