Big video game news is coming out of the New Mexico desert. On April 25, 2014, it was announced that thousands of copies of a forgotten video game may be unearthed in what is definitely the biggest video game treasure hunt, or junk hunt depending on who is asked, in video game history.
The video game E.T. was originally created for the Atari 2600 in the 1980’s. The game was a cash in on what was one of the most well-known films at the time. Unfortunately this early match up of Hollywood and the gaming industry was universally hated by critics and gamers alike for its terrible quality and game play.
In what became one of the entertainment industry’s biggest urban legends, thousands of copies of the poorly received game were buried in the middle of the New Mexico desert in an effort to get them off store shelves and out of electronics warehouses. USAToday has a story referencing a New York Times article from 1983. This article mentions that 14 truckloads of the worthless game cartridges from a plant in El Paso were buried in the desert along with other garbage.
Some video game enthusiasts are using the E.T. Atari game story as the basis for their own documentary. The excavation of the old cartridges is a major event for the gaming community, with hundreds visiting the site where the excavation is to take place for a pre-dig party.
The entire event will be condensed into a documentary which is to be aired on Microsoft Xbox consoles later this year. Even though the old games themselves are completely worthless, these video game enthusiasts have found a way to make their rediscovering a potentially lucrative venture for themselves. The E.T. Atari game is generally viewed as one of the worst video game products of all time, with its name appearing on numerous “Worst Video Game Ever” lists.