Talk:Polybius (video game)

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Sinneslochen trademark history[edit]

If you do a search of the USPTO on the company name SINNESLOSCHEN, the name has only been registered once in the United States, as an LLC in 2008.

This indicates the chance of the screenshot within the article is a fabrication is relatively high.[1]


— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Its not even a screenshot. Its an amaturishly constructed image. Its very obviously a total fake. (talk) 03:59, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

The article needs to be rewritten[edit]

The article in its current form is almost useless. It doesnt even properly tell the history and development of the hoax. Everything in the article that can't be sourced should be removed.

The hoax started with the game description on in 1998. It continued in a small set of usenet group posts in 2001. Then there were the magazine articles a couple years later. Then there was Steven Roach. Then there are the various cabinet sightings. There is no pre-1998 history to any of this. Speculation about games that might match the stories told about the game have no place in the article.

Right now, the article reads like a bulletin board for hoaxers. (talk) 03:23, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

you'd think because it's Wikipedia[edit]

Trolling/hoax/Snopes content wouldn't make it on here.

But I stand corrected. (talk) 23:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Request for sources/citations[edit]

Ok. I dont see and cannot find any source for the following claims made in the article. Unless someone can produce sources for this material, its eventually going to be removed.

- The game proved to be incredibly popular, to the point of addiction, and lines formed around the machines, often resulting in fighting over who played next.

No source for addiction. lines forming around the machines or fights over play on the machines.

- an unheard-of new arcade game appeared in several suburbs of Portland

The material says "one" suburb.

- This was followed by clusters of visits from men in black. Rather than the usual marketing data collected by company visitors to arcade machines, they collected some unknown data, allegedly testing responses to the psychoactive machines.

The only known source says they collected "data about how the game was played". It does not say anything about "psycoactive" or "testing responses".

- In some versions of this mystery, the players suffered from a series of unpleasant side effects, including amnesia, insomnia, nightmares and night terrors.

What are the other "versions" of this mystery and what are the sources for them. The quoted material is basically directly from the source.

- The supposed creator of Polybius is Ed Rotberg, and the company named in most accounts of the game, Sinneslöschen (German meaning "deletion/erasure of senses, Sense-delete"), often named as either a secret government organization or a codename for Atari.

Who is the source for tying the game to Ed Rotberg? Who is the source tying any of this to Atari? Where are the accounts that do not associate the game with Sinneslöschen?

- The gameplay is said to be similar to Tempest (a shoot 'em up game using vector graphics), while the game is said to contain subliminal messages which would influence the action of anyone playing it.

Where is the source that says the gameplay was similar to Tempest? Where is the source for "vector graphics"? Where the source for "subliminal messages". The sourced description of the game says it was "kind of abstract, fast action with some puzzle elements". (talk) 19:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


I believe this article demonstrates an overall bias to assume the game is pure fiction, using words like "supposed" or "alleged" next to many descriptions of the game throughout the article. For instance, the introductory paragraph states "Not much evidence for the existence of such a game has ever been discovered," which implies that the writer was hoping to find no evidence. Instead, it should say something like "There has been only trace evidence that Polybius was manufactured and released." Another good example is the thumbnail of the title screen, which reads "Title frame of the alleged game", implying that the game is only "alleged" (Wiktionary: "supposed but doubtful"), which directly contrasts to the image's description page, which inarguably states the game is real, non-free, and under copyright protection (another bias we might want to work over). A better caption might read "Title frame of Polybius", since the game's existence or lack thereof has already been declared above. There are more examples of this in the article, such as "According to the story", "The supposed creator", and even "a "lack of hard evidence" situation typical of hoaxes."  Supuhstar *  03:32, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

There no "evidence" whatsoever as to the game existing. The article is documentation of an urban legend. What you are calling for is to use Wikipedia's voice to back the hoax and to treat it as if its real. The article should be careful in its tone to clearly WHO has made WHAT claim about the game and make claims about the existance of the game in Wikipedia's voice at all. Wikipedia is not a message board for anonymous unsourced claims or a forum for trying to turn rumors into facts. The article should document the urban legend but make claims about it. (talk) 05:46, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying there should be evidence, or that this should be a platform for propagating rumors, I'm just saying this article isn't written in the unbiased way that Wikipedia tends to have them.  Supuhstar *  02:32, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
An article dealing with a matter of clear facts has a different standard than an article dealing with a hoax or an urban legend. Such articles need to carefully seperate facts from the stories used to spread the hoax. "According to the story" is appropriate. "supposed" is an appropriate qualifier for "creator" because not using it suggests Wikipedia is using its voice to support the claim. "typical of hoaxes" probably goes too far and should be modified. (talk) 16:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
But has there actually been "trace evidence"? The source currently being cited for there being "not much" evidence plainly says "there is no evidence that the game ever existed". --McGeddon (talk) 15:51, 13 October 2014 (UTC)


So Wikipedia has moved to accepting creepypasta tales as articles? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia strives to be an unbiased repository for all knowledge  Supuhstar *  15:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

It's more of a theory, anyway. TVShowFan122 (talk) 12:23, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

How is it a theory? It's a story that has nothing suggesting it goes beyond fiction.

Wreck It Ralph[edit]

The image that the article was referring to for Wreck It Ralph is a hoax. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Steven Roach sourcing[edit]

Not sure this section meets Wikipedia's sourcing standards - a guy giving an interview is a primary source and I'm not even sure that is that reliable a source in the first place, and which did the follow-up analysis looks like a WP:SPS group blog. Given that this only adds up to "guy claimed to have worked on the game, was probably lying" anyway and doesn't seem to have gotten any wider coverage, maybe we should lose it. --McGeddon (talk) 16:54, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

With no response in a month I've gone ahead and cut it. --McGeddon (talk) 22:06, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

2009 information[edit]

In 2009, it appeared as if the author of the description of the game added new material to the entry:

"Quick update, we just wanted to go on record here that Steven Roach is full of himself, and knows nothing about this game. We have it on good authority. No, Polybius is not a Tempest prototype. No, Polybius is not a vector game. Does the title screen look vector? No, it does not. We've recently received some new information about the game (today's May 16, 2009), and yes one of us is flying to the Kyiv, Ukraine area tomorrow and yes the trip is related to this information. Stay tuned."

It seems likely that the person who modified the entry in 2009 was the same one who created it years before. The comment introduces four new story elements:

- It denies the Roach story. - It denies that it was a Tempest prototype - It denies that it was a vector graphics based game - It denies that the title screen looked like vector graphics

This might be worth adding to the article in some form since everything in the urban legend really sources back to that entry at (talk) 01:14, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Instagram and Steven Roach[edit]

TVShowFan122 (talk) 16:52, 13 March 2015 (UTC) Apparently, in late 2012, someone uploaded 4 photos relating to the game, in which he claimed he had a machine, to Instagram. Here: Sorry if you can't add any links, if it's the case I wasn't aware of it. Also, I think Steven Roach should be added again, because I think the interview is important enough. TVShowFan122 (talk) 16:52, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

It's not at all difficult to create your own Polybius machine. GSK (tc) 19:00, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

TVShowFan122 (talk) 17:19, 15 March 2015 (UTC)Ok then. Delete this section, please. (unless I can do it by myself.)

To re-add material on Steven Roach, you will have to find an acceptable source for it. The previous sources all failed the test because they were primary sources. As far as polybius machines, there is a very long history of people building hoax machines or doing hoax photos including screen shots. Minus a whole lot of hard evidence, anything like that is not going to be taken seriously. (talk) 21:31, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Move to Polybius (urban legend)?[edit]

So since there's an actual video game coming out called Polybius, maybe a move is reasonable? // Gargaj (talk) 12:21, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Seeing as said game has now come out, I would definitely agree that a move is warranted. WNivek (talk) 16:29, 10 May 2017 (UTC)