5 Goofy Gaming Hoaxes That Players Fell For
Remember when the CIA created Polybius, an arcade cabinet meant to control the minds of gamers all around the US? It doesn't matter because it's (one of the few CIA conspiracies that's) fake. However, the tale of Polybius is just one out of many stories where creative gamers blended various forms of media to weave tales of bonkers bullshittery that would put even the CIA (if you ignore all their human rights violations) to shame ...
A Fake Let's Play Channel About Real-Life Nightmare Fuel
Petscop is a YouTube channel created by someone who goes by Paul. The channel's purpose is to episodically show footage of Petscop, a recently unearthed game that was totally being made for the PS1 before "vanishing mysteriously."
Despite looking cute for the uninitiated, the playable character actually looks quite a lot like a PG-13 version of the protagonist from Garage: Bad Dream, one of the most messed-up games from the original Playstation.
While playing, Paul constantly acts as if there's a paranormal entity inside the game trying to creep him out. The thing is, Petscop is -- like every entry on this list -- a product of fiction. There isn't, and there hasn't ever been a cursed or mysteriously canceled game. However, what's there is Paul's craft and dedication in creating a fake game just to report on it through a series of videos, thus creating gaming's own Blair Witch Project.
And though the story of Petscop is fake, its inherent darkness is not. While the creatures in the game come from the mind of Paul, some eerie references present in the game point to a real-life case where a 10-year-old girl was killed by a pseudo-scientific intervention meant to cure a psychological illness she might or might not have suffered from.
Pokemon's Creepypasta Crosses Over To The Real World
Nowadays, any mentions of Pokemon Black usually refer to an official 2010 installment of the popular series. But that hasn't always been the case.
One of the oldest e-folk tales known as creepypasta started when a doctorate dissertation from the university of "trust me, bro" reported the discovery of a completely black Pokemon cartridge that was actually a cursed version of the original Pokemon Red & Blue.
In Pokemon Black, on top of the original three starting Pokemon, there's a lvl 1 ghost type Pokemon players would also start with. Instead of knocking out the opposing Pokemon, the ghostly figure would instantly murder them. At first, the game's creepy vibe might have gone unnoticed to many as the prospects of rising to the top at record times could have players turning a blind eye on the ongoing Pokemassacre, but a comeuppance was inevitable. At the end of the game, the ghost would turn against the player and Pokemurder him.
Nevertheless, Pokemon Black's tale, like the legend of Lavender Town's music killing Japanese school kids, was fake ... until someone decided to actually make it. (Uh, the game, not the child-killing music.)
Or maybe it's the actual thing that got finally released after all these years.
Dark Souls Fans Can't Take Much More Psychological Warfare
The developers of the Dark Souls series have made a career out of making players enjoy the psychological abuse they subject them to. However, still a step or two away from reaching their intended goal of total emotional tea-bagging, they enlisted the help of George R. R. Martin to help make their next game, Elden Ring.
The originally titled Ring, then updated to Elden Ring (probably upon confirmation of Martin's involvement), was already living up to both parties' reputations as they'd gone completely silent in the two years since the game's announcement.
But then, there was hope: the "Elden Ring news" Instagram page.
Despite the bland message, uninspired artwork, and its Russian domain, fans believed this could still very well be a teaser to the then-upcoming Tokyo Game Show and the kind of shenanigans Souls creators would pull. That's the level of Stockholm Syndrome you can get from fans when you tell them to go above and beyond to find the secret use for items you designed and programmed specifically to be completely useless.
Who's to say that the fake campaign wasn't actually the real campaign meant to promote the game? Well, Tokyo Game Show sure did, by not showing anything. Though announcing something and disappearing for several years would fit the bill of one of the associated creators. (Spoiler: not Hidetaka Miyazaki).
The Tale of the Unreleased Crow 64 is Better Than the Game Itself
Haven't you heard of "Catastrophe Crow," or simply Crow 64, the canceled would be classic for Nintendo 64? Relax, there's a reason why the game-historian police aren't writing tickets for that. Crow 64 is not the lost video game adaptation of the maligned Brandon Lee film, but rather another game about a crow ... one that's also cursed.
A game in the vein of classics such as Mario 64 and Bubsy 3D, Crow 64 never ended up coming out after its very troubled development concluded with its director vanishing from the face of the Earth. Luckily, YouTuber Adam Butcher managed to "find" a rare beta copy to share with the viewers of his channel.
Despite an easygoing beginning, Crow 64 steadily goes from a human's idea of cute to what would be considered cute by an actual crow. The entire thing unfolds into a Lynchian nightmare that doesn't tell you where the director ran off to but does a good job at letting us feel why he would have disappeared ... Except for the fact that he never existed. The entire eerie-as-heck backstory of Crow 64 is a complete fabrication by Butcher, but the game's totally real. Butcher went as far as to make a game just to rope his audience in his creepy-ass tale, and we salute him for it.
GTA V Stuntsman Masters Fake YouTube Storytelling by Accident
Surely you've heard about the hero pilot that narrowly avoided a terror attack in Algeria? The one that left people so dazzled by the pilot's heroic moves that they went on Twitter to congratulate him for preventing what certainly would've been a nasty crash?
So many lives would have been wasted.
The twist here is that this isn't real footage or even a game deviously created by a YouTuber to more successfully troll e-sleuths. That's just a random-ass clip from The UiGamer's YouTube channel, a guy who makes crazy GTA V videos without ever branding them as anything other than that.
And before you go, "Big deal, there are always a few dipshits dropping incorrect knowledge on Twitter," we have to let you know that there's a second twist. One of the said dipshits rushing to congratulate the daring move UiGamer made from his sofa was not just some guy, but the Secretary-General of Pakistan's Green Party.
Well, in his defense, he isn't the minister of gaming, or, say, an astronomy and physics account with over 175 thousand followers.
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Top image: Nintendo, Rockstar Games