Video game found in trash going to Smithsonian
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?