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First cartridges found at dig site looking to unearth millions of supposedly buried E.T. Atari games
National Post [Canada] / AP ^ | April 26, 2014 | Juan Carlos Llorca

Posted on 04/28/2014 12:59:36 AM PDT by canuck_conservative

... About 200 of residents and game enthusiasts gathered early Saturday in southeastern New Mexico to watch backhoes and bulldozers dig through the concrete-covered landfill in search of up to a million discarded copies of “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” that the game’s maker wanted to hide forever....

The “E.T.” game is among the factors blamed for the decline of Atari and the collapse in the U.S. of a multi-million dollar video game industry that didn’t bounce back for several years.

Tina Amini, deputy editor at gaming website Kotaku, said the game tanked because “it was practically broken.” A recurring flaw, she said, was that the character of the game, the beloved extraterrestrial, would fall into traps that were almost impossible to escape and would appear constantly and unpredictably.

The company produced millions of cartridges, and although sales were not initially bad, the frustrating gameplay prompted an immense amount of returns. “They had produced so many cartridges that were unsold that even if the game was insanely successful I doubt they’d be able to keep up,” Amini says....

(Excerpt) Read more at business.financialpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: 8bitwonderland; atari; baddesign; epicfail; et; ette; newmexico; videogames

1 posted on 04/28/2014 12:59:36 AM PDT by canuck_conservative
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To: canuck_conservative

Not exactly the lost treasure of the Incas, is it?. Would these things even be playable after this long in the ground?

CC


2 posted on 04/28/2014 1:07:10 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: canuck_conservative

Awesome find. Story of the century for sure, hope the documentary goes well, will pay to see it.


3 posted on 04/28/2014 1:10:49 AM PDT by BurningOak (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2830849/reply?c=1)
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To: Celtic Conservative

Article says they found dozens intact (still shrinkwrapped), took them home and played them succesfully in their game consoles.


4 posted on 04/28/2014 1:15:02 AM PDT by canuck_conservative
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


5 posted on 04/28/2014 1:17:05 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: IncPen

pong


6 posted on 04/28/2014 1:20:44 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: canuck_conservative

I’m guessing that with the success of that “angry bird” game (tough to last more than 8 seconds or so I’ve heard), this E.T. thing might be all the rage with the kids today!


7 posted on 04/28/2014 1:32:03 AM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: canuck_conservative

OK, they work. but if the game is as frustrating as they say, kids could’ve just gone to the Obamacare website and gotten their thrills for free.

CC


8 posted on 04/28/2014 1:40:05 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: 21twelve

Okay - I knew that “Angry Birds” thing wasn’t right. It is “flappy bird”. (I’m old.)


9 posted on 04/28/2014 1:41:45 AM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: canuck_conservative
played them successfully in their game consoles.
10 posted on 04/28/2014 2:36:42 AM PDT by Libloather (Embrace the suck)
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To: canuck_conservative

I got this one for Christmas one year. Very lame


11 posted on 04/28/2014 2:57:36 AM PDT by Sybeck1 (Vote McDaniel June 3rd Mississippi!)
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To: canuck_conservative

WHY would they want to search through a “concrete covered land fill” for all of these video games? If they were flawed back then, they are still flawed.


12 posted on 04/28/2014 3:38:54 AM PDT by octex
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To: octex

The ET games were not all that was dumped there. Most of the inventory was dumped there, apparently. All sorts of games and even consoles and computers. Before it was concreted over, lots of kids snuck in there and made off with hardware.

From wiki:

On September 27, 1983, the news service UPI reported that “people watching the operation said it included cassettes of the popular video games E.T., Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, the consoles used to convey the games to television screens and high-priced personal computers.”[15] The news service Knight-Ridder further reported on the looting of the dump on September 28 by local kids, stating “kids in this town of 25,000 began robbing the Atari grave, coming up with cartridges of such games as E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Defender, and Bezerk.”[16]


13 posted on 04/28/2014 4:17:50 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Oliviaforever

LOL, I was just thinking about pinging him to this important archeological news.


14 posted on 04/28/2014 4:23:08 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: canuck_conservative

Who would even want to waste money digging up these miserable excuses for a video game?


15 posted on 04/28/2014 4:26:23 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Government by Gun Point.)
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To: canuck_conservative

> The “E.T.” game is among the factors blamed for the decline of Atari and the collapse in the U.S. of a multi-million dollar video game industry that didn’t bounce back for several years.

The video game industry collapse had nothing to do with the games. It was greed by the industry giants. They paid squat to the game authors and programmers. I authored and programmed a video game for Atari in 1983; They sold 780K copies and paid me less than $1000 for my efforts. I stopped writing games after that.


16 posted on 04/28/2014 4:32:59 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Government by Gun Point.)
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To: BuffaloJack

Signs of a pretty sick society when they go to all that trouble to locate an obsolete and flawed “game”. Isn’t there enough “entertainment” already available?


17 posted on 04/28/2014 4:36:40 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: canuck_conservative

Some of us plan ahead.......

I have around 300 plastic wrapped, in the box, in the tin, pristine AOL floppies and Cd’s

I’m going to be rich, rich I tell ya”


18 posted on 04/28/2014 4:40:16 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: bert

I’m waiting for 8 Tracks to come back. Just wait I’ll be rich!


19 posted on 04/28/2014 4:54:05 AM PDT by ABN 505
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To: Celtic Conservative

Define ‘playable’. The thing was so hideously bad that it routinely turns up as #1 on lists of the worst video game ever made. I’m not sure why anyone would want to dig these things up.


20 posted on 04/28/2014 5:20:12 AM PDT by VOR78
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To: canuck_conservative
About 200 of residents and game enthusiasts gathered early Saturday in southeastern New Mexico to watch backhoes and bulldozers dig through the concrete-covered landfill in search of up to a million discarded copies of “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” that the game’s maker wanted to hide forever...

Maybe they can put the same effort towards locating Barry Soetoro's birth certificate?

21 posted on 04/28/2014 5:25:33 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: BuffaloJack

...especially when pristine copies probably exist in game collectors’ hoards. It must be for the history.


22 posted on 04/28/2014 5:29:40 AM PDT by Chad_the_Impaler
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To: bert

I loved getting those floppies from magazines, my friends gave me dozens of them, reformat and use. Don’t miss the puny, lo-cap storage but free was fun! I still marvel at these USB flash drives holding dozens of gigs, amazing, considering my 1st IDE hard drive held all of 1.2 GB and cost over $280!


23 posted on 04/28/2014 5:36:32 AM PDT by W. (Obama's "presidency" has been nothing but a form of welfare for his family, friends and supporters.)
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To: W.

I recall trying to play that E.T. game on Atari. It never made any sense to me. Perhaps that’s why they thought it best to just dump it.


24 posted on 04/28/2014 5:41:44 AM PDT by VA_Gentleman ("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
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To: canuck_conservative
Links to watch Code Monkeys E.T. game episode
25 posted on 04/28/2014 6:01:17 AM PDT by Cooter
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To: VA_Gentleman

I don’t know, never played home consoles when they were new. Not every game is gonna attain a Pac-Man level of success. The only reason to trash what they did is they knew Atari was doomed, and dumped it to clean house. Who knows, eh?


26 posted on 04/28/2014 6:02:04 AM PDT by W. (Obama's "presidency" has been nothing but a form of welfare for his family, friends and supporters.)
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To: canuck_conservative

Will Whorealdo be there?


27 posted on 04/28/2014 6:03:36 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: canuck_conservative
Always being the Gloomy Gus, here, but...

...I wonder if "ET" (the movie) is getting re-released soon. This is an awful lot of effort and hype for something that, frankly, was so valuable at the time that it was cheaper to BURY truckloads of copies, than try to sell them.

28 posted on 04/28/2014 6:07:22 AM PDT by wbill
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To: W.

My first hard drive held, wait for it, 10 megabytes. And I never filled it.

I bought it to run a pharmacology teaching program that cost $900 and came on 8 floppy discs.


29 posted on 04/28/2014 6:25:18 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: canuck_conservative
Atari got away from their "insert quarter - avoid Klingons" approach to games. Basically what this means is their most successful games were those that you did not have to study a manual in order to play. You just started the game and within a few minutes, you understood what it was all about.

It's different today but back in those days, kids weren't as technical and just wanted simple games. Games like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders, etc.

30 posted on 04/28/2014 6:32:48 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: canuck_conservative

I hope the documentary is interesting.


31 posted on 04/28/2014 6:38:15 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: dangerdoc

This laptop is almost 4 years, been saving lots and am only up to 70GB, got twice that to go.

I’ve got some vintage ads saved, a 10MB HDD for $3398, a 15MB @ $2495+ install kit[s] from Radio Shack, and other old tech. I finally learned, when it comes to new tech, wait 3-6 months, it’ll cost a third of the price. Too soon old, too late smart. ;)


32 posted on 04/28/2014 6:50:21 AM PDT by W. (Obama's "presidency" has been nothing but a form of welfare for his family, friends and supporters.)
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To: Oliviaforever; ShadowAce; Ernest_at_the_Beach; martin_fierro; Swordmaker

:’)


33 posted on 04/28/2014 7:06:42 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Celtic Conservative
Not exactly the lost treasure of the Incas, is it?. Would these things even be playable after this long in the ground?

Who'd want to?

34 posted on 04/28/2014 7:08:34 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: BuffaloJack

I remember a bon mot in one of John Dvorak’s columns years ago — that the software industry is great, where else can you take a 50 cent diskette, put it in a $2 box, sell it for $500, and spend the rest of your time complaining that you can’t make any money? ;’)


35 posted on 04/28/2014 7:10:30 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

I’d be surprised if these things didn’t work, and that includes the hardware they run on.


36 posted on 04/28/2014 7:11:27 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: VOR78

Maybe it’s one of those ironic hipster things. Once you have the thick frame black glasses and fedora, ya gotta do something.


37 posted on 04/28/2014 7:12:47 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: BuffaloJack

I am ever so curious as to which game you wrote... Do tell!


38 posted on 04/28/2014 7:18:54 AM PDT by SpinnerWebb (IN-SAPORIBVS-SICVT-PVLLVM)
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To: dangerdoc; W.

My first hard drive was a Syquest I believe, 44 mb, running on an Apple II, so, ProDOS’ max volume size was 32 mb. I forget how much it cost, the cartridges were 5.25 winchesters in a plastic box, and they worked great, and were what back then seemed like ridiculously portable. The printing / rendering biz’s around Grand Rapids all have ‘em, because at that time 44 mb would hold a huge amount of graphics and publisher files.

The first ad I remember for a one gig drive was in one of the deep geek mags, and priced (if memory serves) $10K — but we were all in awe, you can run an entire company on a one gig (and back then, one could). Now a camera, or phone, or even a wristwatch, comes with more than 1 gb. Anyway, the price came down fast.

The first retail terabyte drive I saw was $400, and that seemed hilarious. Now 1 tb is well under $100 (internal or external) and 128 gb flash drives are available. A four pack of 8 gb Sandisk Facets is $22 and change at, uh, one of the warehouse clubs.


39 posted on 04/28/2014 7:19:36 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
Now a camera, or phone, or even a wristwatch, comes with more than 1 gb.

SanDisc just released a 128GB Class 10 Micro SD card. It;'s priced at $ 120 at Amazon, retails at $200.

40 posted on 04/28/2014 7:21:21 AM PDT by Ted Grant
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To: SunkenCiv

Do you remember Teraserver? It was a Microsoft project, it served up satellite images of the entire US and was a technology demonstration of their ability to create a terabyte sized server farm. It was awe inspiring at the time.


41 posted on 04/28/2014 7:24:47 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: Ted Grant

yup.


42 posted on 04/28/2014 7:55:59 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: dangerdoc

:’)


43 posted on 04/28/2014 7:56:28 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Cooter

Thank you. “This game is giving me more cancer!”


44 posted on 04/28/2014 8:56:43 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: SunkenCiv
Yep, the digital storage gets larger & cheaper! Was derping around in Walmart 2-3 years back and they had 500GB USB drives on sale for $50! Big name drive but it escapes me, I shoulda bought one but, oh, no... Kick, kick.

Hey, I remember Terraserver coming online, too, slick stuff back in the day.

Lastly, was farting around streetview and found myself immortalized in a pic, on the 2nd floor porch, beer in hand. Har!

45 posted on 04/28/2014 10:17:14 AM PDT by W. (Obama's "presidency" has been nothing but a form of welfare for his family, friends and supporters.)
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To: W.

“Was derping around in Walmart 2-3 years back and they had 500GB USB drives on sale for $50! Big name drive but it escapes me, I shoulda bought one but, oh, no... Kick, kick.”

1 terabyte drives are probably going to be there soon.


46 posted on 04/28/2014 10:25:24 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: W.

“Was derping around in Walmart 2-3 years back and they had 500GB USB drives on sale for $50! Big name drive but it escapes me, I shoulda bought one but, oh, no... Kick, kick.”

1 terabyte drives are probably going to be there soon.


47 posted on 04/28/2014 10:25:35 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: dangerdoc

WM’s almost there, has Toshiba 1TB for $70.


48 posted on 04/28/2014 10:51:15 AM PDT by W. (Obama's "presidency" has been nothing but a form of welfare for his family, friends and supporters.)
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