Polybius is an urban legend about an arcade game that apparently can cause seizures or brain aneurysms and was used to control people’s minds to brainwash them and even cause them to commit suicide.
Around the 1980s, arcade games were extremely popular with teens, and supposedly the game Polybius was first released for those teens in 1981 in Portland, Orgeon. It was a puzzle/shooting game, kind of like the games where you had to control a little ship and shoot at things coming at you.
It was an extremely popular game at the time. It was super addictive and there were lines going out the door of people wanting to play it. There was something strange and sinister about the game, however. People were reporting sounds of a woman crying and seeing grotesque faces out of the corner of the eyes. Some people saw disturbing messages flash on the screen like, “Kill Yourself”. After playing the game people would experience things from nightmares to amnesia. Some even committed suicide.
One arcade owner said that mysterious men in black suits would come and collect data from the game. They didn’t take any money and sometimes they would change the settings on the game. This led to some people believing it was used to brainwash people by the government.
After about a month of it being released, all of the cabinets disappeared suddenly. One reappeared in 1998, but vanished quickly as well. No one has been able to find the original ROM. It was supposedly made by a German company Sinnesloschen which means “Sense Deletion”. No one really knows what happened to the arcade game, but maybe someday the truth about it will be told.