This legend is based on loosely something that actually happened
The Legendary Cave Ripened TurkeysEdit
These uncanny events eventually led to rumors that the cause of the deaths was the game's antagonist, Evil Otto -a giant smiley face who comes out to zap your character if you take too long- taking revenge on the players.
The idea behind the legend is that he took revenge on the players for not only beating him, but also for getting such riddiculously high scores. Evil Otto is not the most intimidating villain appearance wise, but his goal is clear: to stop you from winning.
Because of the incident, Evil Otto has been rated on several web sites as one of the scariest video game villians in history for (supposedly) killing people in real life. Even Newspapers noticed what happened. The effect is somewhat ruined by his non-intimidating appearance, however.