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Polybius: A Mysterious Game Which Caused Nightmares And Amnesia To All Those Who Played It

A peculiar arcade game known as the Polybius mysteriously appeared in Portland Arcade in 1981. The game resulted in severe headaches, intense nightmares, and amnesia in the several days and weeks that followed. Like the way it appeared, it inexplicably disappeared from the arcade.

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Polybius: A mysterious game
Image source: www.joltcountry.com

Released in one or two arcades in the suburbs of Portland, the game named Polybius has a blurred history. Rumored to be developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group which used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA or something alike. Allegedly, the kids who played the game suffered from severe headaches, amnesia and such horrible nightmares that they woke up screaming at night.

Polybius: A mysterious game
Image source: www.joltcountry.com

According to the operators who used to run one of the arcades playing those games, guys in black coats used to come to collect records from the machines. All they needed was the information about how the game was played, not about quarters the game made.

Polybius: A mysterious game
Image source: www.joltcountry.com

This puzzling game was abstract looking, had fast action with some puzzle elements. According to sources, the kids who played this game stopped playing other games entirely and one of them even became a big anti video game crusader.

Polybius: A mysterious game
Image source: www.artemisoftnian.com

In addition there is a picture of the game from the screenshot of the Simpsons episode “Please Homer, Don’t Hammer ‘Em”. The screenshot lists a German Company to the developer. When translated “Sinnesloeschen” (“Sinneslöschen” using the German umlauts), “Sinn(es)” denotes “sense” or “sensory” as in sense perception. “Loeschen” means to “delete” or “erase”. It can be interpreted as sensory deprivation. It could denote an erasing or negating of the capacity for sensation.

The appearance and disappearance of Polybius is still a mystery.

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