True or not the story of the video game Polybius is gripping. In 1981 Portland, Oregon sat a strange video game. The game was popular and said to have attracted large lines of kids quarters in hand. Similar in look to the video game Tempest in that it was a spinning geometric shape type of game. The game was frequently serviced but not by your average game repair guys but by men in dark suits. After some time of playing the game the kids complained of headaches memory loss and some were even driven to suicide. There is no record of who made the game and the consoles that housed the game are nowhere to be found.
Evidence to confirm or debunk this legend is hard to come by. A few people claim to have the machines but it is unclear if they are the famed machine or just copies. A few years before 1975 public attention was brought to the US Congress about project MKUltra. Where the CIA was exposed for exposing private citizens to chemicals and drugs to manipulate their behavior (including LSD) without their knowledge. Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News reported on the CIAs link to crack cocaine in L.A. about this time as well. So, the CIA is clearly not above doing something like Polybius there is simply a lack of evidence to prove it.
Polybius the man was born in Arcadia Greece in 200bc. He was a historian but is also responsible for the Polybius Square an early form of cryptography.
Snopes has debunked the Polybius story due to lack of evidence and claims that the legend grow from off shoots of the epileptic fits that people had while playing Tempest and the plot of The Last Starfighter an 80’s film about a video game champ being recruited to save the galaxy.