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According to urban legend, Polybius was a strange arcade game, similair to Tempest which brainwashed those who played it and was placed in arcades by a shady branch of the federal government. All retellings have a different agency, from the CIA, to the NSA, to the FBI, to even forign agencies like the KGB. In reality - at least, according to a former Atari employee - Polybius was a name for one of the early Betas of Tempest, and was tested in a few arcades. The game was known to cause Vertigo and Motion Sickness, and as such was pulled immediately.
My cousin's friend's older brother played Polybius and went insane. I swear!
by E. Moran May 13, 2004
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Anything at all of a mysterious nature, most commonly talked about on the internet in forums and thus blown out of proportion, etc.
That game that everyone's talking about is apparantly very polybius.
by Vornan Cuel November 13, 2003
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A mythical arcade video game said to be made by the government for mind control and manipulation. Depending on the source, it was either a 2-D Space Shooter or puzzle game.
My girl went batshit after playing Polybius and opened her ass for all the arcade to see...
by Cheeto Dust July 03, 2016
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a game made by the government 2 brainwash children and make them paranoid
dumbass-dude i bought the game polybius
jackass-awesum lets play
Game-die u bitches
by John Fru August 16, 2003
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Polybius is one of gaming's most well known myths. Polybius was an unmarked Arcade machine spotted in an unnamed arcade in a quiet suburb of Portland, Oregon, in 1981. The game was described as strange and abstract, but "strangely addicting." Many recreations liken it to Tempest, another arcade game. Strange enough, but then there were the side effects, such as nausea, vertigo, and even night terrors. Stranger still, men in black, supposedly government agents, often visited the machines, giving rise to rumors of a government mind control program. A month later after the machine was first spotted, it vanished, along with any evidence of its existence. The only consistency in the story is the name, Polybius.

Wild story, but it actually has some basis in fact. Around the same time and place the myth was set, incidents of teens blacking out or experiencing similar side effects to the described symptoms after marathons of games such as Asteroids or Tempest, began to crop up. Also, back during that time, Arcades were often the haunts of drug dealers and other participants in illicit activities, resulting in common sightings of Narcotics officers during hours of operation. Finally, the name springs from one of the codenames of Tempest while it was in its beta stages, Polybius.
Polybius is an interesting urban legend that came to be from a mix of very real incidents and stories.
by sebacostamr December 29, 2018
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A PSVR game made in homage to the urban legend of the same name. The game featured intense action and strobing colors, just like in the urban legend. The game was developed by LlamaSoft.
My friend played LLAMASOFT's game Polybius, and I SWEAR, it brainwashed him! WHAT THE HELL IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!
via giphy
by everybodyheardthebirdistheword January 05, 2019
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