Photosensitivity and epilepsy


Companion includes a number of special particle effects that are difficult or impossible to reliably disable but are not safe for operators and units with photosensitive cortices. To help address this, we have issued an optional system update called "Soothe" which disables some of these effects.

Please read the notice below before continuing.


Nanite Systems main controllers contain elements and special effects that produce sudden bursts of light.  These effects are not limited to your own screen. Bystanders may be affected by flashes produced by NS products, including sparks, teleport effects, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) defensive weapons. It is possible to cause harm simply by teleporting to a person with photosensitive epilepsy.

Although we have taken steps to allow the disabling of these effects through an optional patch (described below), bugs in Second Life mean that this patch (and other updates) can sometimes be rolled back or lost. Additionally, it is always possible to forget to re-install the patch after an update, or to inadvertently expose a photosensitive friend to a third party.

If you have ever experienced a light-induced seizure or have a family history of epilepsy, we urge you not to buy a main controller. If you are aware of a friend or loved one with epilepsy, only removing the controller entirely in their presence can guarantee that it does not put them at risk.

Despite the effort we have put into allowing customers to minimize the risks to their loved ones, it is our opinion that our products are not safe for photosensitive individuals. By knowingly using Nanite Systems products near people with epilepsy, you are responsible for any consequences of this risky behavior.

Unfortunately, there is always a risk of encountering harmful or abusive content in Second Life, and on the Internet in general. Virtually all 3D programs are capable of accidentally inducing flashing effects due to a phenomenon known as z-fighting. As of this writing there are several known instances of journalists with epilepsy being deliberately targeted on social media by trolls using flashing images. Until a technology for preventing seizure induction becomes widely available and reliable, the very act of participating in multi-user online interactions carries with it an elevated level of risk.


The following effects are disabled by Soothe:
  • Teleport flash particles from the main controller.
  • Teleport bubble ("warp system") spawned by the main controller.
  • Spark particles from the main controller.

  • The following effects are NOT disabled by Soothe:
  • Repair particles.
  • Gamma adjustments caused by temperature changes in ATOS/E.
  • Spark particles generated by accessories (such as the Opaque Computing Alkaline Battery)
  • In-eye glitch effects generated by robot optics (NeoVISION, Lightpoint, ORAMA iKON, Sigma Ocu-Klaar, Fateweaver Clairvoyance, and others)
  • Anything not attached to your avatar.

  • For optimal safety, units are encouraged to avoid combat where bright flashes from explosions, projectiles passing by the camera, and so on may be unavoidable.

    Installation Instructions

    You must be in the Eisa region to perform this installation.

    First, type the following preparatory steps into local chat:

    @reset xanadu-client
    @reset songbird

    These actions ensure that your controller can see your chat, that your package manager (_xanadu-client) is ready to receive instructions, and that your disk manager (_songbird) has provided an up-to-date cryptographic key.

    Then, connect to the package server:

    @xanadu connect xbeta:0

    And finally install the patch:

    @xanadu install Soothe

    Installation takes about twenty seconds.

    Soothe must be reinstalled after an OS update.


    If you see the message:

    [Stage 0] Removing old memory card firmware...

    It should be followed within 5 seconds by:

    NS Memory Card Firmware Eraser 1.35

    If you do not see the latter message, then _xanadu-client did not have the correct PIN for user memory. Repeat the command @reset songbird and then try the last step of the installation again.

    When the installation is complete, you will see the message:

    [Stage 2] Done. Installed 1 files total in 3 steps.

    And you will be given a copy of the readme notecard, which more or less repeats the contents of this page.


    Soothe replaces the _ambiance script with a version that disables the particle effects specifically. The exact build upon which it is based can be determined from the package version number (e.g. = version 8.6.1, May, 2021). Since _ambiance has changed very little during 8.6, it does not need to be updated often, and the same version of Soothe will likely be relevant for years to come.

    Soothe must be reinstalled after an OS update.

    Soothe can be removed by reinstalling the OS, or by surgically replacing _ambiance in a controller that has been dropped on the ground.

    Soothe is not a guarantee of safety. Because Second Life is not perfect, there are always risks of exposure, as described at the start of this article.