Polybius Documentary to Investigate an Arcade Urban Legend
The makers of The Polybius Conspiracy have taken to Kickstarter to crowdfund their film which intends to unearth the secrets of the fabled arcade game.
Todd Luoto, Jon Frechette and Dylan Reiff are making a film to investigate the bizarre story surrounding the Polybius arcade game. The urban legend of Polybius is a strange one. Rumor has it that an unheard-of game cabinet started appearing in random arcades throughout the Portland, Oregon area in 1981. The game was said to be a popular hit in the area, to the point where addicted fans would line up around arcade buildings to wait their turn to play. Another rumor is that secret government agents would collect data from these machines to get reports on the psychotropic effects the game had on its players. Those who played the game reportedly suffered various adverse effects, like amnesia, night terrors and insomnia. By the end of its first month, every Polybius cabinet in the area vanished, never to be seen again. Since then, Polybius has become an old arcade ghost story.
The team behind The Polybius Conspiracy documentary have been interviewing arcade owners, game designers, journalists, retro game enthusiasts and Washington State historians over the past year to try and find out whether or not Polybius was real and which rumors, if any, were true. They'll also be exploring why Polybius matters in video game history, regardless on what they find in their investigation.
Here's what The Polybius Conspiracy's creators had to say about the project:
Influenced by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, and Rodney Ascher, we plan to dive into the chronology, testimonials, and psychology of the legend; an intersection where urban mythology and dark secrets meet the arcade scene. Was the game real? Was it fake? What was its purpose? And why, as avid fans of both gaming and urban legends, does finding the truth even matter to us in the first place?
With 21 days to go in its Kickstarter campaign, The Polybius Conspiracy is sitting at around $13,500 in pledges of its $100,000 campaign goal and is expected to release in Jan. 2017 if the project is funded. We suggest helping them out, because the truth is out there.