40 * Killer Video Game: The POLYBIUS Mystery

After a month long hiatus mostly due to colds and flus, I’m happy to present this conversation I had with writer, director and producer Todd Luoto from Los Angeles and previous guest Natalie Zarrelli from New York! We talk about the mysterious video game Polybius, about which Natalie wrote over at Atlas Obscura:

Gamers who tried it couldn’t stop playing, and began acting oddly: they were nauseous, stressed, had horrific nightmares. Others had seizures or attempted suicide, many felt unable to control their own thoughts. It was only later that they recalled how Polybius was serviced more often than other games. Men in black suits opened the machine every week, recorded its data, and left, with no interest in its coins. Soon after it appeared, the mysterious arcade game vanished without warning—taken by the men in black suits, leaving no record of its existence.

Todd and Jon Frechette wanted to explore this mystery and set about to make a documentary with a Kickstarter project. Unfortunately, that project didn’t raise the required capital. So instead, they will be launching a podcast about mysterious American urban legends and the first season will be dedicated to the Polybius conspiracy. It will be called Unknown USA: The Polybius Conspiracy!

Here’s the trailer Todd and Jon Frechette made for the original video version of this project which will be replaced with a podcast. (http://bit.ly/1Fmp0sD) I will give you a good idea of just how spooky the urban legend of POLYBIUS is.



Todd Luoto


Natalie Zarrelli

Atlas Obscura: The Urban Legend of the Government’s Mind-Controlling Arcade Game:
The twisted tale of Polybius, the world’s most dangerous video game: http://bit.ly/2nqQi9R



Music and Sample Credits

Waysted – Kromatiks Music

Amazing 80’s Home Arcade Game Room – Doug’s Home Arcade Collection (https://youtu.be/1I1p0ih0V0A)

In the Game Part 1 – Matt McLellan (http://bit.ly/2nqLnWC)

Left: Azuria Sky (http://bit.ly/2nqPNfZ)

Things We Almost Lost – Azuria Sky (http://bit.ly/2ngQuti)

In the Game Part 2 – Matt McLellan (http://bit.ly/2mwwN0G)

Image credit: (http://bit.ly/2mdCb7M) Newsilver95

20 * Sideshows, Arcade Games & Ice Cream Wars

This week’s episode starts off in the same vein as last with a freakshow theme! Natalie Zarrelli lost her job one terrible day in Boston and rather than moping about it she joined a travelling sideshow! That’s wicked cool!

In this episode you’ll get to learn a little about Natalie’s time in the World of Wonders sideshow! We’ll talk about her acts — like lifting lunchboxes with her tongue — and what living on the road is like.

Natalie also writes for Atlas Obscura too! We’ll talk about the legendary conspiracy video game POLYBIUS and a vicious ICE CREAM TRUCK WAR that broke out in Scottish government housing projects in the 80s. She still writes regularly for the Atlas from her apartment in New York City!

But that’s not all! Natalie and a friend went up to Alaska where she got to meet the only guy to assemble a whale skeleton in a hundred years! We’ll learn about that too.

She also paints deep sea monsters and has an intriguing series of the bottom halves of women doing things that would regularly require eyes, arms, brains, etc. We’ll learn about some of the meaning behind this.

Finally, we’ll talk about Natalie art and upcoming projects — which might just include a podcast!

Natalie’s site: nataliezarrelli.com

Intro music: Waysted by Kromatiks Music

Outro music: Old Habbits by Kromatiks Music

Mid-show advertisement was for Lifemark podcast.