The sugarfrostedgoodness.com challange this week is “video games“.
The elusive Polybius may have been a real arcade game. However, it is more likely an urban legend. According to the story, the game was released to the public in 1981, but caused trauma for its players and disappeared shortly after.
A new arcade game appeared in several suburbs of Portland, Oregon in 1981. The game, Polybius, proved to be incredibly popular, to the point of addiction, and lines formed around the machines, quickly followed by clusters of visits from men in black. Rather than the usual marketing data collected by company visitors to arcade machines, they collected some unknown data, allegedly testing responses to the psychoactive machines. The players themselves suffered from a series of unpleasant side-effects, including amnesia, insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, and even suicide in some versions of the legend. Some players stopped playing video games, while it is reported that one became an anti-gaming activist. The supposed creator of Polybius is Ed Rottberg. He developed the game for a company called Sinneslöschen (German for sense-delete), often named as either a secret government organization or a codename for Atari. The gameplay is said to be similar to Atari’s Tempest, a shoot ’em up game utilizing vector graphics.
Or maybe not…
Thanks again to THIS GUY for his suggestion.