The True Story Behind Polybius, Gaming’s Most Bizarre Urban Legend

In the 1950s, the CIA began experimenting with alternative ways to weaken the enemy. The project was called MKUltra and consisted of tests on unaware subjects with the goal of finding the perfect interrogation methods.

In 1976, the secret had been leaked to the public and began to spur countless conspiracy theories. In the madness, one of the most bizarre gaming urban legends began to brew, and it all started when a video game cabinet appeared in an arcade in the quiet town of Portland, Oregon.

Soon enough, people couldn’t stop talking about “Polybius,” a top-secret government project that gave players seizures and night terrors.

Could it be real?