Video game found in trash going to Smithsonian At left, workers sift through trash in search for decades-old Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game cartridges in Alamogordo, New Mexico (AP photos)
Video game found in trash going to Smithsonian
Lexile

It turned out to be some important trash.

One of the "E.T." Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.

Museum specialist Drew Robarge made the announcement in a blog post. He included a photograph of the crinkled cartridge.

The game was one of hundreds recovered at the Alamogordo, New Mexico city landfill. It was found as a team of filmmakers investigated. The story was that Atari had secretly dumped the cartridges. The "E.T." game had the reputation of being the worst game ever. It contributed to the demise of the company.

Robarge said the Smithsonian has some amazing artifacts. They represent big moments in video game history. They include Ralph Baer's "Brown Box" prototype for the first video game console. And, there's a Pong arcade cabinet. However, missing was something that represented what he called "the darkest days" of the early 1980s. That's when the U.S. video game industry crashed.

He describes the "E.T." cartridge as a defining artifact. He said it tells a story about the challenges of adapting blockbuster movies to video games. It also helps to learn more about the end of an era in video game manufacturing.

"As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure," he said.

Critical thinking challenge: How could a worst game ever lead to the demise of Atari?

Assigned 20 times


COMMENTS (14)
  • Eric-Mag
    1/15/2015 - 10:04 a.m.

    this is a worst game ever made for atari i found this in my back yard how did it get there

  • patrick64thegucciestguyever
    1/15/2015 - 05:34 p.m.

    This is actually a kind of cool story. Something I wonder is why did Atari really dump all those cartridges in the trash. And also how much is that game worth. Like how much would you pay for an old game that someone literally dug out of the trash. I wouldn't pay very much for it.

  • RaffyD-3
    1/15/2015 - 08:02 p.m.

    Something interesting was found in the trash. Under a heap of garbage an old video game was found. The game was a E.T video game for the Atari game console. This video game will be put in the Smithsonian video game collection. The reason this video game cartridge is headed to a museum is because it is considered the worst video game of all time and is part of the video game dark days.
    I think this article was interesting because I like to play video games.

  • AugustH-5
    1/15/2015 - 08:22 p.m.

    A ET Atari game cartridges was found underneath a heap of garbage. This video game was added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian. The game was recovered at the Alamogordo, New Mexico city landfill. Atari had secretly dumped these atari the cartridges because of how bad the game was. The video game showed the cras of the video game industry in the 1980's. I think it is cool to have found these games in the land fill. At the same time I think it is stupid care so much about a failed video game.

  • RaffyD-3
    1/15/2015 - 08:37 p.m.

    A very interesting thing was found in the garbage. A old video game was found under a heap of garbage. The video game was a E.T game for the Atari console and the cartridge will be featured in the video game section of the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian video game section is home to many very important moments in video game history including the prototype for the first ever game console. The reason the game will be featured there is because of the fact that it is considered one of the worst video games ever and is part of the video game dark days.
    I think this article is interesting because I like to play video games and would like to visit that section of the Smithsonian.

  • pennyw-Bla
    1/20/2015 - 07:33 p.m.

    An E.T. video game was found in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, by a team of filmmakers investigating, claims that Atari secretly dumped the cartridges. The game E.T. had reputation of the worst game ever. Museum specialist Drew Robarge describes the E.T. game at a defining artifact in video game history, it tells the story about challenges of adapting movies to video games, and the demise of Atari.

  • JoshL-Mau
    2/04/2015 - 11:41 a.m.

    How can a video game in the trash and they are made for playing

  • annabel1226-yyca
    6/29/2015 - 08:34 p.m.

    I wish I could find a video game that works. I could find it at my house and play it for a long time. If I found a video game that was played long time ago I would sell it and get some money. That is a good way to get money. I hope I ind a old video game.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    7/20/2015 - 06:55 p.m.

    REBUTTAL:
    I think that your comment is very wrong. This old game that you want to find is considered the worst video game created in history. That is why it was in the trash. If you were going to sell this game, I'm pretty sure that not many people would want to buy this game because first if all, it's wrecked, second, it requires a very old video game set, and third, this game just sucks.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    7/20/2015 - 06:55 p.m.

    REBUTTAL:
    I think that your comment is very wrong. This old game that you want to find is considered the worst video game created in history. That is why it was in the trash. If you were going to sell this game, I'm pretty sure that not many people would want to buy this game because first if all, it's wrecked, second, it requires a very old video game set, and third, this game just sucks.

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