Polybius: Gaming’s Oldest, Most Mysterious Legend


If you type the term ‘conspiracy’ on the internet, we are sure you will get a ton of results. And mind you, because each one of them will be more interesting than the one you checked before. Maybe because people are too smart and somehow find a way to make up some really engaging stories. Or maybe, it’s the world that is full of curious cases that eventually turns into conspiracy theories. Especially with the ones where the government is involved. After all, come on, the government is always up to something mysterious. Hence, the birth of a few government-related conspiracy theories that go on for decades. One such theory that we are hinting towards here is the Polybius gaming arcade theory.

Polybius: Gaming Oldest, Intriguing Legend
via Wikimedia Commons/Newsilver95

Yes, that famous gaming arcade from the 90s that created buss more interesting than the game itself!

So, what was the theory?

Or let’s say ‘theories’. Because there are many theories related to this game. The arcade made its first appearance in Portland, Oregon. Just like any other arcade during the 1980s, this too was a normal-looking game. However, stories about it being a government tool began to surface soon. Some people believed that it was a tool by the Government to find out the strongest people.

Polybius: Gaming Oldest, Intriguing Legend
Wikipedia via

Citizens who are mentally and physically strong. Talks were that it was a way to find suitable soldiers. Another interesting theory was that it was a tool from the CIA to experiment with mind control and brainwashing on the citizens. This one sure sounds dark. While some people believed that the arcade never existed! Yes, to some, the arcade was nothing but a hoax! Well, a pretty strong hoax if you ask us.

So, did anything actually happen?

Well, to say the least, the events and the theory did clash a bit. For the theory about it being a recruiting tool. Well, that was because people remember seeing men in black suits around the gaming arcades during that time. However, it was said that it was the time when the authorities were chasing drug busts. And arcades and such happened to be a suitable place for the same. 

Polybius: Gaming Oldest, Intriguing Legend
via Wikipedia

Another theory about it being a mind-control tool. Well, that was more about kids getting sick. People do not have a proper explanation as to why that happened. But reportedly, 4 kids fell sick in one way or another during the 80s around the arcades games. Not specifically around Polybius. But them being around arcades was enough to fuel the fire about these arcade theories.

Then comes the hoax part. Well, let us tell you something. If it really was a hoax, then some people did a fabulous job making a non-existing game so famous that it is still making cameos in famous suspicious shows like the Simpsons, Loki, and many more! In fact, there is a possibility of a movie revolving around this very ‘hoax’ gaming arcade.

Well, the truth about it being a hoax or not is still in debates among the theorists, but something that they say was ruled out way before was its possibility of being a tool of a kind. But then again, you never know since the story of this game itself picked up pace after the emergence of the internet. What was happening before that? It’s mostly word of mouth for a time like that. An arcade revolving around so many controversies is surely an interesting ground to cook up stories.

Loved learning about Polybius? That’s not the only gaming ‘story’ we love. These 5 video games have roots in classic literature and their plots are better than most movies!


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