A game of Panic.

Programmer X was the pseudonym of an unknown video game programmer who authored the single scariest game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, a game known simply as Panic. It used simple graphics and sound effects to induce extreme feelings of panic in anyone who played it. Programmer X tried selling his game to Nintendo but was turned down flat after game testers suffered nervous breakdowns from playing Panic. Feeling dejected, Programmer X placed the few existing Panic game cartridges in a cardboard box, left the box in the middle of a field, walked away and was never seen again.

Ian carried the cardboard box into his room, still not believing it was just sitting there in the field. Even more unbelievable was the box’s contents. Game cartridges for the very video game system he still had? He couldn’t believe his luck.

Ian picked up one of the cartridges for a closer look. Hand written in black marker on the front side was the word “PANIC”. Curious, he inserted the cartridge into his Nintendo system and switched it on. The words “PANIC – PRESS START TO BEGIN” appeared on the screen.

Wait a minute. Was there a manual with this game? Ian quickly checked the box and saw only two other game catridges also labeled “PANIC” but no manual. He would have to figure the game out for himself.

Ian pressed the Start button on his controller and saw a small white square in the middle of the screen. He pressed the different buttons on the controller but nothing happened.

Then Ian became curious if this game had any sound. After adjusting the volume on the TV, he began to hear a soft humming. He sat there silently, unsure of what to make of all this. Suddenly he began screaming hysterically and couldn’t stop…

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