Posts tagged #digginget

Digging E.T. Out of the New Mexico Desert

Filmmaker Zak Penn holds up one of the found E.T. Cartridges in Alamagordo, New Mexico. (Courtesy

As I’m sure you’ve seen throughout your social network feeds, Microsoft funded an excavation in the middle of Alamagordo, New Mexico to prove or disprove a long-standing rumor that Atari once buried its remaining stock of E.T. game cartridges in a landfill over thirty years ago. The video game, often cited as one of the worst produced video games in history was left with unsold stock and, as Atari began having financial problems, it was rumored they banished unsold product out to the middle of New Mexico to be forgotten by time.

I’ve seen one news outlet calling it “a silly waste of money,” but the dig was part of a soon-to-come documentary called “Atari: Game Over” being produced by Microsoft’s new Xbox Entertainment Studios, which will document the rise and fall of the legendary video game company.

The documentary is being directed by Zak Penn (writer of X2, and other large-scale films) and was also observed by Ernie Cline. Our avid Ghosthead readers might recognize the name Ernie Cline as a long-standing member of the Ghostbusters fan community as well as the author of the book “Ready Player One.”

Details of the dig are still to be revealed, such as how many copies of the game were unearthed, the condition of the games (judging by the pictures released the carts appear to be largely undamaged after being buried for 30 years), and where the games will be going once they’re uncovered. I would expect all those to be answered in the documentary once it’s released via Xbox.