Geeky Archeology: is the E.T. dump be the first videogame archeological site?

‘Atari Dump’ Will Be Excavated, After Nearly 30 Years (NPR)

Is the current trend of retrogaming and the recent sell of the Apple I brought back some old daemons? This article from NPR brings back the famous “ET dump” of New Mexico and sounds like the first time ever of geeky archeology.

Lets get back to the story: It is end of the year 1982. Atari and other companies are in full sail with their 8-bit consoles. Atari bet high on two franchises: E.T. (the movie from Steven Spielberg) and Pac-Man (that set a milestone back then in arcade games). Back then, sounded easy money. However, bad programming  and awful gaming adaptations was the spark to induce the crash of the videogame industry, that was certainly as powerful as the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Long story short, Atari ended with a lot of surplus ET cartridges and dumped them into a dumpyard somewhere in New Mexico, rapidly known as the “E.T. dump”. Among the mystery that shroud around it, some people claims that also defective hardware and more interestingly prototypes may be buried in it.
This maybe the first time ever of documenty geek archeology ongoing and I would be very curious how after 30 years some trash may become treasure. We may certainly  transform a bogus game into an instant hit but it will be a great archeologic moments for anyone that ever sweared by their 2600.


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