The 1997 episode of the Pokemon animated series that triggered seizures in hundreds of viewers inspired the United States Army to create an electromagnetic energy gun that would attack an enemy's nervous system and induce convulsing fits, reports Wired.
The gun's official description states that it creates an electrical field that forces the body's neurons to all fire simultaneously, causing a "disruption of voluntary muscle control," and claims "essentially 100 percent of individuals would be susceptible to seizure induction" via the weapon.
"The onset of synchony and disruption of muscular control is said to be near instantaneous," reads the Army report. The weapon is effective from "up to hundreds of meters" away and "[r]ecovery times are expected to be consistent with, or more rapid than, that which is observed in epileptic seizures."
An official analysis of the weapon cites the Pokemon episode Dennou Senshi Porygon ("Computer Solider Porygon") as the inspiration behind the idea. On December 16th, 1997, the episode's television premiere resulted in hundreds of viewers requiring treatment for photic seizure induction, or seizures induced by rapidly flashing lights, many of them showing symptoms of epilepsy.
Wired reports that the Pokemon-inspired seizure ray has not been developed further.
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