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Hundreds of ‘E.T’ Atari Games Dug Up in New Mexico To Be Auctioned

The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico, has decided to auction off more than half of the 1,300 unwanted vintage Atari video games discovered buried in a landfill. the City Council voted 7-0 late on Tuesday to offer some 800 of the games found earlier this year for sale on eBay and the council's own website. The mystery behind who dumped the games in the landfill, and why, inspired the dig and a documentary film by Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios. The find included hundreds of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" cartridges, considered by some the worst video game ever made. It flopped after being rushed out to coincide with the release of Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit movie. Atari is believed to have been saddled with most of the 5 million E.T. cartridges produced. Media reports at the time said that the game manufacturer buried the games in the New Mexico desert in the middle of the night.

Joe Lewandowski, who was the dig site supervisor, said the decision by the council to auction more than half of the games was like watching a "phoenix rising from the desert." He said the city planned to keep some of the remaining 500 or so games as mementos, and the rest will be donated to museums around the world.

Quest to Solve Legendary Atari Myth Put on Hold 1:16

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— Reuters