We are in the year 2018, an era where technology is already part of our society. Life at this juncture is practically unimaginable without the technology that we enjoy today. In particular, life would not be the same without video games. The reality is that for more than 30 years our culture has been influenced by video games.
Starting with classic games like Pong in 1972 and Space Invaders in 1978, which started a cultural revolution. In 1981 we found a true masterpiece of video games called Donkey Kong, and not only by the presentation of the main character but by the protagonist, Mario, who would become the banner of Nintendo in the years to come.
Other examples include Pokémon, which became the most popular game in 1999, and Sonia the Hedgehog by Sega in 1992. And all this brings us to the present, with multiplayer online shooters such as Counter-Strike, Fortnite, and PUBG, which They dominate the world of video games, thanks to professional players, eSports tournaments, live shows on Twitch and YouTube. But the last thing we could think about when we talk about video games is that some of them could be cursed.
After all, it is supposed to be entertainment, a way to escape the tensions of the real world and anything that may exist beyond. However, the world of video games is also full of strange, damn and inexplicable stories. From the unknown to what is probably an urban legend, the following stories go beyond what we can understand.
We begin our journey through the cursed video games with Polybius. As we already published in Esoteric and Paranormal World, in 1981 appeared out of nowhere in the entertainment halls of Portland, Oregon, United States, a particularly strange game called Polybius, of the German company Sinneslöschen and involving the resolution of several riddles, games of shots and labyrinths. Although the recreational machine was quite unusual and modest compared to the other more colorful machines of the moment, which consisted of a black piece of furniture with a simple logo, for some reason the game turned out to be extremely popular, with children queuing for play it.
However, there are many who claim that the game supposedly had the ability to induce various mental and physical disturbances in those who played, including headaches, amnesia, epileptic attacks, nausea, nightmares, hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal tendencies. And if that were not enough some players came to commit suicide shortly after playing the game. Even stranger is that every night mysterious men with dark clothes opened the machine to apparently download data for unknown purposes. A month after they installed the machine in the arcades, it disappeared without any explanation from the distributor.
From then on, the story of Polybius became an urban legend, to such an extent that it even appeared in an episode of the animated series The Simpsons. Conspiracy theorists believe that was a kind of secret government experiment used to collect data on the psychological effects of certain visual stimuli, with the game specifically designed to create stroboscopic effects to induce a response in particular, and the mysterious men in black are they were secret agents to collect this data.
Pokémon Red and Green
Another strange story about a video game that causes mysterious mental effects is the Japanese version of the Nintendo Gameboy game Pokémon Red and Green. Although the game was presented in 1996 with great popularity and recognition throughout the world, in Japan it was the opposite. Shortly after its launch, there was supposedly a series of suicides among children aged 7 to 12 years, about 200 in total, and all after playing. In addition, many others reported experiencing dizziness, migraines, nausea, and hallucinations while playing, and soon they spoke of a curse.
It was said that the culprit was a particular level called “Lavender Village”, where everything was covered with a strange purple tone, giving it a spooky atmosphere. And this added to a disturbing soundtrack with a frequency that only children could hear, which caused strong suicidal impulses in those who could hear them. In fact, the various negative effects were only activated when a player reached the mysterious Lavender Village. Although Nintendo denied such hidden frequencies in the music, the Western version no longer included such a soundtrack, so players in other countries got rid of the “curse”. Some theories suggested that the game was really cursed or had some mysterious code recorded. You can see a video of the original Pueblo Lavanda level below. But we’ve already warned you about the effects you can face.
There are other cases that have supernatural entities as protagonists. The game Minecraft is extremely popular, due to its simple concept and its totally open design. In the game, the player basically extracts different resources and uses them to create buildings, structures and practically everything they want. The truth is that it is amazing in its simplicity and total freedom of creativity. But there are players who claim to have found inexplicable phenomena while playing.
Some have reported random and inexplicable objects in the game, including unexplained tunnels cut into rocks that lead nowhere, trees as if their leaves had been torn off and mysterious random structures, like pyramids in the ocean, as if they were not part of the game. There are players who have claimed to have seen the responsible for these anomalies, a spectrum of white eyes. Apparently, the mysterious figure stays far enough to not be able to distinguish any real detail of its appearance.
Interestingly, the creator of the game called Markus Persson (commonly known as “Notch” ), had a brother who died in tragic circumstances. The most rational explanation for anomalous phenomena is that it is simply due to an error, but there are also those who believe that it could be the ghost of the dead brother or even an intentional programming option made by Notch to honor his deceased brother.
The legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora
A truly terrifying story is that of the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (in Spanish: The Legend of Zelda: The Mask of Majora). The story has its origin in an apparently haunted video game cartridge. An unknown user claimed to have been possessed after buying a blank N64 Nintendo cartridge with the words “Majora’s Mask” written on a black background.
The user in question explained that I put the cartridge in his console and immediately saw that there was already a saved game named “Ben”. When the user ignored the saved game and started a new one, he realized that all the characters in the game referred to him as Ben, which he initially considered a mistake. To solve the problem, he simply deleted the file “Ben” and started again. But this was only the beginning, as he began to see distorted landscapes and a soundtrack marked by shrieks and even sounding backwards, as well as a twisted avatar of the main character of the game following him in the shadows.
The player decided to restart the game only to discover that the “Ben” file had not only been mysteriously restored, but this time there was a second unexplained saved file named “drowned”. Any attempt to play a new game after this gave the same results, that the character would die abruptly and a message would appear saying “You have met a terrible fate, right?”. Nothing more is known about the mysterious cartridge, although there are several screenshots that supposedly show the haunted game.
Besides curses, some mysterious video games have other enigmatic powers. For example, the well-known role-playing game Fallout 3, which according to some stories can predict the future. In the game itself, the player wanders through a vast open and apocalyptic world set in Washington DC. Throughout the missions, the player sometimes receives ghostly radio transmissions that are part of the real game and include things like dramatized broadcasts and music to alert the player to the objectives of the mission and create a sense of the environment.
However, some have claimed that there is another purpose for these transmissions; predict the future. Players have apparently picked up what appears to be a series of numbers in Morse code, which represent the prophetic dates. It is said that some disasters, such as that of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, were predicted by this code. For its part, the developer Obsidian Entertainment has denied that there are such hidden messages in the game.
So, are these stories simple urban legends? All that can be said is that these are very strange cases in which video games can be more than pixels and music. It seems that some video games cross the borders of the unknown.