Workers sift through trash in search for decades-old Atari "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" game cartridges in Alamogordo, N.M. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
How much would you pay for the world's worst video game?
September 04, 2015
A collection of Atari game cartridges were dug up in a New Mexico landfill last year. Now they have brought in more than $100,000 in sales.
The April 2014 dig ended ideas about an urban legend that Atari had thrown out hundreds of games. They included "E.T. The Extraterrestrial." It was introduced more than 30 years ago. That was reported by The Alamogordo Daily News.
A film crew recorded Joe Lewandowski as he dug up the Atari cartridges. In addition to the "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" cartridges, Lewandowski found more than 60 other titles.
Those included Asteroids and Missile Command. It included Warlords and Defender. Star Raiders and Swordquest were also found. Phoenix and Centipede were found too. And Super Breakout was another game that was found.
Atari's E.T. game was based on the Steven Spielberg film. It was released in 1982. But it was released after only 34 days of development. That helped it to become known as the worst video game ever.
It never lived up to its monetary goals. It is thought by many to have added to Atari's end. That was shown in Zak Penn's documentary "Atari: Game Over."
The 881 games sold on eBay brought in close to $108,000. That was what Lewandowski told the Alamogordo City Commission. Buyers came from 45 states and 14 countries.
Twenty-three games also made their way to museums around the world. Those included the Smithsonian in Washington. It also included the Deutsches Film Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.
Lewandowski said there are hundreds more cartridges.
"There are 297 we are still holding in an archive that we will sell. When we decide what to do with them," he said. "But for now, we are just holding them."
The city will get about $65,000 from the sale of the games. About $16,000 will go to the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.
And about $26,000 will go toward costs such as shipping fees.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are people buying these games if they're so bad?
Write your answers in the comments section below