E.T., Phone Alamogordo…

I wrote a blog earlier about how a bunch of Atari video games had been buried in a landfill near Alamogordo as the company was slowly dying in the early 1980s.

Sources say 29 truckloads or almost 800,000 games which could not be sold were dumped in the Alamogordo landfill apparently because the company was in financial stress and the games did not work with the company’s newest game console. After word leaked out that the games had been dumped, people began to sneak into the landfill and pilfer the brand new games. Eventually the dump site was covered over in concrete and people forgot about the treasure trove.

Atari logo

Computer game nerds eventually tracked down the dumping site again and in 2014, with assistance from the city, recovered 1,382 games, including the newly released “E.T” game. About 800 of the games that were recovered were sold in a benefit auction that netted about $107,000 for City of Alamogordo public works projects and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.

Apparently, 283 more games were kept in seclusion after the 2014 “dig” and will soon be offered on auction on E-Bay, again with proceeds to benefit public works projects in Alamogordo and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society. One hundred of the games will become part of the historical archive. The last time the games were auctioned, the most popular “E.T.” game fetched between $800 and $1,535 per copy. A peek online last week showed that a pristine unopened version of Atari’s “E.T.” has been offered to up to $3,199 on E-Bay.

Now if you’d just kept that Atari console…

The date that the games will be offered in auction has not yet been released.

New Mexico has a long and successful history of gold, silver, copper and other mineral mining, oil and gas production and even mining operations for turquoise and other gems. Now digging underground has produced another kind of financial benefit for the state.

Wish she’d come to Alamogordo…

And on a side note, I think it would be really cool if Drew Barrymore would come to Alamogordo to help promote the auction.

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