Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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Estimated reading time — 1 minute

In Portland, Oregon in 1981, an unheard-of new arcade game appeared in several suburbs, something of a rarity at the time. This game was called “Polybius”. The game proved to be incredibly popular, to the point of addiction, and queues 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 — amnesia, insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, and suicide appearing as having been caused by the game in various versions of the legend. Some players stopped playing video games, while it is reported that one became an anti-gaming activist.

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