Atari’s ‘E.T.’ game goes home to Smithsonian collection

Workers uncover Atari games in a New Mexico landfill last year. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Workers uncover Atari games in a New Mexico landfill last year. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – One of the E.T. Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage buried deep in the New Mexico desert has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.

Museum specialist Drew Robarge made the announcement Monday in a blog post.

He included a photograph of the crinkled game sitting next to an official cataloging number that was assigned to it by the city of Alamogordo, N.M. Officials have given every cartridge that was dug up from the community’s landfill its own certificate.

Robarge says the cartridge is one of the defining artifacts of the dark days of the early 1980s when the U.S. video game industry crashed.

Until now, he says that moment had not been represented in the museum’s collection.

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AP-WF-12-15-14 1955GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Workers uncover Atari games in a New Mexico landfill last year. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Workers uncover Atari games in a New Mexico landfill last year. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Evidence of 'E.T.,' 'Centipede' and and other Atari materials uncovered during the excavation. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Evidence of ‘E.T.,’ ‘Centipede’ and and other Atari materials uncovered during the excavation. Image by taylorhatmaker. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.