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Polybius - Elaborate Hoax or Government Mind Control Program?

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posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 09:15 PM
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Polybius

"Polybius" was an arcade cabinet that briefly appeared in Portland, Oregon arcades in November, 1981. Rumors of the games existence swirled for decades, and the first mention of it on the internet appeared in the year 2000 on the arcade enthusiast website Coinop.org. There is also an ATS thread from 2003 inquiring about it's existence. The legend goes like this...


This game had a very limited release, one or two backwater arcades in a suburb of Portland. The history of this game is cloudy, there were all kinds of strange stories about how kids who played it got amnesia afterwards, couldn't remember their name or where they lived, etc.

The bizarre rumors about this game are that it was supposedly developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group, used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA or something, kids who played it woke up at night screaming, having horrible nightmares.

According to an operator who ran an arcade with one of these games, guys in black coats would come to collect "records" from the machines. They're not interested in quarters or anything, they just collected information about how the game was played.

The game was weird looking, kind of abstract, fast action with some puzzle elements, the kids who played it stopped playing games entirely, one of them became a big anti videogame crusader or something. We've contacted one person who met him, and he claims the machines disappeard after a month or so and no one ever heard about them again.


Players supposedly suffered from a series of unpleasant side effects, including amnesia, insomnia, night terrors and hallucinations. Approximately one month after its supposed release in 1981, Polybius is said to have disappeared without a trace. Most accounts state that it was created by a German electronics company called Sinneslöschen, which roughly translates to "Sense Delete".



Polybius Square



Polybius (200-118 BC), a Greek historian during the Hellenistic period, was responsible for a useful tool in telegraphy that allowed letters to be easily signaled using a numerical system. This idea also lends itself to cryptographic manipulation and steganography.

So, did it actually exist? Some claim that it's an elaborate hoax invented during the explosive rise of the gaming industry in the early 1980's, and some claim that it did indeed exist, but are unable to prove it due to it's brief availability to the public and sudden disappearance. If not, do you believe that the government would ever use such a device on the public?

Perhaps it's better if we never find out...




posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 09:30 PM
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a reply to: Konduit
I imagine you probably watched the documentary about Polybius I'll post below. If not, do so, that's the best researched attempt I've seen to find out anything about it.

For what it's worth, I don't think it ever existed. I think it was a decently constructed memetic hoax.

As to would the government use such a thing on it's own people? Of course they would. That's acceptable. It's okay if you do horrible things to your own people. For the most part the world only cares when you start messing with people from other countries. Even then it has to go pretty far.




posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 09:32 PM
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As weird as the rumors are about this game that must be the reason it's been on Stranger Things.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 09:52 PM
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Check out the Petscop mystery, even weirder.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 09:54 PM
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a reply to: Noncents

Good Find


I haven't seen the full documentary yet but watched a bit of it earlier while researching this topic. Real or not, I think it may at least be a good creepy pasta to parallel the mass government manipulation of the public in the conspiracy age... which is something I think we see in TV, news, movies and video games on a daily basis.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: Konduit
A strange game.
The only winning move is not to play.




posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 10:41 PM
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That's a picture of Tempest....I LOVED that game. It was pretty hypnotic on it's own. You pretty much had to get into a "zone" to do all the levels. At the very end the levels became invisible.
edit on 15-12-2017 by pavil because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 10:56 PM
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originally posted by: bananashooter
Check out the Petscop mystery, even weirder.


Petscop...wtf?



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 11:34 PM
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Hoax for sure.

Unfortunate, but it's a hoax or "urban legend."

"The video game that never existed."



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 12:21 AM
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originally posted by: pavil


That's a picture of Tempest....I LOVED that game. It was pretty hypnotic on it's own. You pretty much had to get into a "zone" to do all the levels. At the very end the levels became invisible.


I thought I had seen that interface before, but I never played it though.
Tempest video game

That animated GIF in the OP gave me an instant headache.

-dex



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 02:44 AM
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a reply to: Konduit

Why only two options: Hoax or Government Mind Control?



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 03:14 AM
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a reply to: Konduit

I'm with the others , Hoax.
I watched the AVGN episode at Halloween , James Rolfe is the Dude.


If it had existed perhaps the code name was Polybius but the actual game was Tempest , that game had a hypnotic quality that could make hours pass in what seemed like minutes , I'm sure it altered brain chemistry in some mysterious way.



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: Konduit

I don't remember the name, but I do remember playing it as a kid.




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