New investigative podcast centers around an arcade game that (allegedly) turned kids crazy


Getting user data used to require work

Conspiracy theories fascinate me, from the almost too believable ones like the JFK assassination all the way to the crazy ones like chemtrails or that a ground-based radio transmitter can control the weather. OK, that last one actually annoys me, but that’s another article. So when conspiracy theories get crossed with video games of course I’m going to listen.

Enter the Polybius Conspiracy, an investigative podcast that deals with a persistent rumor about an arcade game in Portland, Oregon during the early ’80s. The game unsurprisingly called Polybius had strangely addictive properties, as well as side effects that included amnesia, night terrors, insomnia, and hallucinations.

The worst part? Old Man Mike Sounders behind the arcade swore that he saw government agents coming in and taking data from the machines. This was all before the games were quickly removed from the few arcades that they were in; there can be no evidence, don’t ya know? Of course because of this and the passage of time the game can’t even be proven to have existed at the time, let alone the claims of shady business around it.

The podcast will run for seven episodes in a weekly release format with its first episode airing on October 6. You can listen to a teaser below and if it tickles your fancy you can subscribe right now via iTunes or Stitcher.

Polybius Conspiracy is going to be published by Radiotopia under their new Showcase label which signal boosts limited-run podcasts that might not have been able to get as much exposure as others in a quickly burgeoning market. Personally I love Radiotopia and consider them to be the best podcast publishers in the game right now, so with all of these things I love coming together I’ll definitely be listening right from day one.