Game Theory: Polybius, MK Ultra, and the CIA's Brainwashing Arcade Game

Polybius, MK Ultra, and the CIA's Brainwashing Arcade Game

Polybius is the biggest video game urban legend. An arcade game that brainwashes its players with subliminal messages.

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I like Game Theory, but is there any reason The Escapist is dishing out a year old episode as new content? I clicked on it only because I've seen so many Polybius vids I'd forgotten they did it, but I can't imagine there being a market for videos you could watch on YouTube a year ago.

Also, not my favourite episode. Taking a conspiracy theory based on a conspiracy theory and making it into a third conspiracy theory. I mean, it is just a theory....>.>

Game Theory on the Escapist? Awesome, I wants moar. :)

Im glad to see they are bringing back shows like Extra Credits, but it is true that hopefully they will start producing new videos and get their own escapist crowd for their youtube channel

Zachary Amaranth:
I like Game Theory, but is there any reason The Escapist is dishing out a year old episode as new content? I clicked on it only because I've seen so many Polybius vids I'd forgotten they did it, but I can't imagine there being a market for videos you could watch on YouTube a year ago.

We're fans of Game Theory and wanted to present it here on The Escapist in addition to YouTube. Matthew Patrick has got an extensive backlog and the topics are generally evergreen so it made sense to start showing all of them here. I imagine we'll eventually catch up and start showing more current episodes. Enjoy!

Game Theory on The Escapist now? Nice!

This is awesome! I love MatPat's work, and seeing it here on the Escapist is great.

Greg Tito:

We're fans of Game Theory and wanted to present it here on The Escapist in addition to YouTube. Matthew Patrick has got an extensive backlog and the topics are generally evergreen so it made sense to start showing all of them here. I imagine we'll eventually catch up and start showing more current episodes. Enjoy!

This is awesome! I love MatPat's work, and seeing it here on the Escapist is great.

edit: I'm dumb how did I double post what is this i dont even.

Game Theory is on the Escapist now? Woo! Awesome!

As it just so happens this is one of my favorite episodes of theirs. The Polybius myth is just so...fascinating, yet horrifying to think about. I would not be at all surprised if most of what was said about it is the truth, especially given the multitude of other Government monitoring scandals that have been cropping up in the news lately.

You are certainly recruiting the right guys it seems. This will be good once original content starts coming out :D

Game Theory on The Escapist?... AWESOME! :D

I've only seen a few episodes on YouTube, but what I've seen, I definitely like it, making it a regular thing on TE only means good things to me ^.^

This series is brilliant, thanks for introducing it to me. However, the the voice work needs some serious loving in the EQ and gain departments.

Two indescrepencies I'd like to point out in this conspiracy theory:

It's very unlikely that a game with the presupposed complexity of Polybius could be developed in just a few months.

Portlands notoriously high suicide rate, anyways. It's a great place but, people like to kill themselves there, go figure. Some speculate that like Seattle, it's the dreary winters that are the culprit.

Nitpicking aside, It was a fun watch. I look forward to future episodes.

Nice! I like Game Theory despite of their constant misuse of the word "theory", but I guess "Game Hypothesis" wouldn't be as catchy.

Great. Now there's another website to spread inaccurate, poorly thought-out theories.

Greg Tito:

Zachary Amaranth:
I like Game Theory, but is there any reason The Escapist is dishing out a year old episode as new content? I clicked on it only because I've seen so many Polybius vids I'd forgotten they did it, but I can't imagine there being a market for videos you could watch on YouTube a year ago.

We're fans of Game Theory and wanted to present it here on The Escapist in addition to YouTube. Matthew Patrick has got an extensive backlog and the topics are generally evergreen so it made sense to start showing all of them here. I imagine we'll eventually catch up and start showing more current episodes. Enjoy!

Thanks Greg, it's always great to see the escapist expand it's video section, and to people that keep bringing up "it's already on youtube" just remember that the world is bigger than america and not all of us that can access the escapist can access youtube, please don't be selfish and have some consideration for us that have youtube blocked in our countries as well.

One thing to also note: LSD can be absorbed through the skin. If placed on something commonly touched (a doorknob, or a controller), one could conceivably dose a large number of people with a low dose. LSD is also very easily absorbed by mucus membranes, such as those in the eyes and nose...which you touch an awful lot. Combined with a secondary drug vehicle such as, say, DMSO, one could conceivably dose a large number of people surreptitiously through touching the game alone. The DMSO method could also be combined with other drugs.

Is this evidence that Polybius actually existed? No. But as Carl Sagan said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

One thing to also note: LSD can be absorbed through the skin. If placed on something commonly touched (a doorknob, or a controller), one could conceivably dose a large number of people with a low dose. LSD is also very easily absorbed by mucus membranes, such as those in the eyes and nose...which you touch an awful lot. Combined with a secondary drug vehicle such as, say, DMSO, one could conceivably dose a large number of people surreptitiously through touching the game alone. The DMSO method could also be combined with other drugs.

Is this evidence that Polybius actually existed? No. But as Carl Sagan said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Hey matpat. It is good to see you are with the escapist now. I look forward too you and your continuing work here :D.

game theory on the escapist now. awesome.

Neat. :) I enjoy Game Theory.
Never saw this episode though. Very neat story. Kind of makes you question if it's true.

Think the CIA is still doing experiments like this? Maybe not drugging people without consent, but perhaps using them as guinea pigs for some social experiments.

Oh well. At any rate, good to see Game Theory on the Escapist.
Gives me a lazy way to see the older episodes. xD

This videos is awash with logical fallacies and factual inconsistencies.

Case in point, that of the French villagers who experienced hallucinatory episodes: in 1951 seven people died and a few hundred were sickened, scores of whom were committed to insane asylums. The scientific finding - published as early as that same year in the British Medical Journal - is that it was a case of ergot fungus contaminating the food supply. Ergot contamination of rye wheat causes convulsions, insomnia, pain, hallucination, and delirium. These symptoms might last hours or months.
There are three points to consider here:
1- The effects described were identical to those expected from the known ergot contamination, no introduction of a conspiracy theory is needed to explain the event.
2- The ergot fungus is one of the key ingredients in LSD synthesis. To a non-expert outside observer, the psychoactive effects of the two are difficult to distinguish
3- MKULTRA was founded in 1953, two years AFTER the events in France.

The cool thing about conspiracy theories is that, if skilfully presented, can make the casual observer think that the evidence for them is almost undeniable. However, once each of the pieces of evidence is properly reviewed and Occam's razor is correctly applied, they invariably fall to pieces.

Even in the episodes where MatPat ends up grasping for straws, they're still at least entertaining to watch and thought-provoking, like this one.

Also, yay MatPat on the Escapist!

Zachary Amaranth:
I like Game Theory, but is there any reason The Escapist is dishing out a year old episode as new content? I clicked on it only because I've seen so many Polybius vids I'd forgotten they did it, but I can't imagine there being a market for videos you could watch on YouTube a year ago.

Not only is this an old episode, but it isn't quite as mind-blowing as the newest episodes about the force(s) that spark game market penetration these days or how most portrayals of LGBTO (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Other) individuals in at least this medium are negative.

I guess this isn't a bad episode to release on, but it's not a great one, either.

DoctorObviously:
Game Theory on The Escapist now? Nice!

Good call. Extra Credits went the professional route, offering advice that'd be more appropriate to gamedevs and often irrelevant to players. Game theorist focuses more on pop&trivia. I think it's a better match, though personally I have the escapist to thank for introducing me to EC in the first place.

As for the experiments - as well as the whole mkultra program - sounds too good to be true. Not only am I getting my acid free, at the taxpayer's expense - but the government is my pusher, meaning my dealer can't get arrested. Where do I sign up?

 

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