Polybius - The Government’s Secret Mind-Controlling Arcade Game
In 1981, an arcade in Portland in Oregon was said to be packed with teenagers all holding joysticks as they played on machines. However, one gaming cabinet drew the most attention, and this was Polybius. The Polybius machine had just turned up mysteriously one day in the arcade, with no one remembering when or who brought it.
Is the Polybius Mind Controlling Arcade Game of the Government Just An Urban Legend?
Those Playing Polybius Became Sick, Some Attempted Suicide
It was said those who played it was instantly hooked before they started to act strangely. Gamers were reported to feel stressed out, nauseous, with many complaining about having nightmares that stopped them from going back to sleep they were so horrific.
Reports of teens having seizures or making attempted suicide attempts were rife. Some said they felt as though they could not control their thoughts, their thoughts were not their own.
Men In Black Regularly Collected Data From the Machine
While many games machines in the arcade had to be serviced, the Polybius machine was more frequently maintained. This was not by ordinary servicemen in overalls, but men in black suits. They came into the arcade almost on a weekly basis, opening up the games machine, but only the Polybius machine, none other. Strangely enough, the men in black did not do anything with the device other than record the data it had collected. They did not even take any of the coins the machine had been fed.
The strange Polybius games machine suddenly vanished from the arcade one day. There was no warning and the games machine was still working, continually being used until taken away. Men in black suits quietly walked into the arcade, loaded up the machine before making it with them. Left in its place was just space.
A Vintage Website First Mentioned the Polybius Gaming Machine
This is a story that has been going around for many years and many claims it is among the unsolved mysteries. Others say that the gaming machine never existed and it is just an urban legend passed around by fans. No one is quite sure when they first heard about the Polybius gaming machine, but it was suggested it dates back to 1989 on a vintage gaming website.
The gaming machine “had an insufficient release, one or two backwater arcades in a suburb of Portland, ” according to rumors it was “developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group” and “used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA.”
Programmers Claim South American Company hired them
The story appeared in GamePro magazine under urban legends, while a commenter said the gaming machine was the creation of Steven Roach along with programmers. Roach said a “South American” company had hired them. He continued by saying the team got over their heads with the dangerous graphics, which were accidental.
The details about the Polybius gaming machine are evasive, and there is no known game file in existence. No one knows what type of graphics the game used or if it was a shooting game or puzzle game or something else. Some fans said it was disorienting along with being confusing, while the graphics could trigger seizures. Legend states it used raster along with vector graphics. However, these would not have possible in 1981 to send subliminal messages from the government in the U.S.
Machine Was in Existence Same Time As MKUltra Brainwashing Program
Some people have pointed out that at the time the Polybius gaming machine was said to be in existence, subjects were being tested on without knowing in the MKUltra program. This is a program involving altering the mind using LSD.
There has been a great deal of interest in the Polybius machine, and one was advertised for sale on Craigslist. However, it turned out that the device in question was just a prop that Sony Pictures had made. It even had the “property of the U.S. Government” engraved on it. The machine had been tailored to meet the description of the machine in the story.
There were reports in the newspapers during that time of people becoming sick after playing the game or games like it. Whether or not the government was using the Polybius gaming machine to alter the minds of teenagers is not known, perhaps never will be. However, it could be just another urban legend and the engine never really existed.