How much would you pay for the world's worst video game? 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?
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A cache of Atari game cartridges dug up in a New Mexico landfill last year has generated more than $100,000 in sales over the last several months.
 
The April 2014 dig ended speculation surrounding an urban legend that Atari had discarded hundreds of games, including "E.T. The Extraterrestrial," more than 30 years ago, reported The Alamogordo Daily News.
 
A film crew documented 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, Missile Command, Warlords, Defender, Star Raiders, Swordquest, Phoenix, Centipede and Super Breakout.
 
Atari's E.T. game, based on the Steven Spielberg film, was released in 1982 after only 34 days of development. It earned a reputation as the worst video game ever created.
 
It didn't live up to its financial expectations and is considered by many to have contributed to Atari's demise, as shown in Zak Penn's documentary "Atari: Game Over."
 
The 881 games sold on eBay brought in close to $108,000, 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, including the Smithsonian in Washington and the Deutsches Film Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.
 
Lewandowski said there are hundreds more cartridges.
 
"There's 297 we're still holding in an archive that we'll sell at a later date when we decide what to do with them," he said. "But for now, we're just holding them."
 
The city will receive about $65,000 from the sale of the games, and $16,000 will go to the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.
 
About $26,000 will go toward expenses 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


COMMENTS (64)
  • tiak-bro
    9/08/2015 - 09:19 a.m.

    this is a good article.

  • jakobk-bro
    9/08/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    I really have no idea why they are buying the games. they either want to see how bad the games are or they have an Atari.

  • rorys-1-bar
    9/08/2015 - 12:23 p.m.

    People are buying these games to have the worst game in the world and these games are infamous for being down Atari.

  • calvinh-4-bar
    9/08/2015 - 03:22 p.m.

    People are buying these bad games because of the game's history and also for people to relive their childhoods. In my opinion, these games will be forgotten in the next 10 or so years.

  • alexanderc-6-bar
    9/08/2015 - 06:07 p.m.

    The reason I believe people buy these games is because the people want to experience how bad the game itself is, especially E.T. But to be honest, I thought that only E.T. cartridges were in the landfill. You learn something new everyday.

  • sebastianr-6-bar
    9/08/2015 - 06:08 p.m.

    How much does each individual game cartridge cos. I learned about this game in my drama class last year in 7 grade and I thought that the worst game ever was a very interesting topic.

  • skyeh-ric
    9/08/2015 - 09:18 p.m.

    People are buying these games even though they're bad because they might want to see how bad it is and play it, give their opinions. Or they just want to sell it and make money for the game. Like the text says "The 881 games sold on Ebay". All most people want is the money the games worth.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    9/08/2015 - 09:44 p.m.

    I think that people who are selling the game are lucky because the Atari games that were dug up made around a sale of one-hundred thousand dollars even if it was voted the worst game in history. I think that it is interesting to find a bunch of games somewhere and make money out of it.

  • jaylaw-ric
    9/09/2015 - 01:37 p.m.

    I read this book from an a assignment and its a pretty good passage hearing about the worlds worst video games. that i play my self and now i see me my mom was right. i really loved hearing about how they found it in a landfill and look at them now great a awesome!

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/09/2015 - 09:28 p.m.

    I think it is cool to find more than 80 Atari cartridges in a landfill in New Mexico. There is a possibility that no one owns an Atari console because they do not sell it anymore. They are probably going to use the found cartridges to show it off in museums so that people can see video game history.
    Why are people buying these games if they're so bad?
    Answer: people are probably buying these games even if they are bad because they want to show it off or sell it to another person.

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