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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 5, May 2014, Posted On: 4/27/2014

Legendary Atari Videogame Found Buried In New Mexico

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: video game excavation, worst video game, Atari's E.T., E.T. video game, videogame history, Alamogordo New Mexico video game find, Atari demise, Atari 2600 home system, video game mystery

ALAMOGORDO, NM -- Frequently called the worst offering in videogame history, a massive stash of cartridges of Atari's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial have been found in a landfill in Alamogordo, NM, by a documentary film crew.

The game, which was released in 1982 for the Atari 2600 home system, became legendary for its poor play, mysterious disappearance and contribution to the demise of the once-great game manufacturer. The search for the cartridges will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the biggest videogame company of the early 1980s.

Rumors swirled around the millions of unsold E.T. cartridges. Game nerds speculated that the cartridges were buried in a New Jersey landfill; more imaginative conjectures said they were dropped into volcanoes, buried at sea or shipped to developing nations. According to reliable sources, however, approximately 14 truckloads of the cartridges were dumped at the Alamogordo site.

The documentarians who discovered the buried videogame trash are partially funded by Xbox Entertainment Studios. Their film is due for release later this year on Xbox game consoles.

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