The Atari “E.T.” Excavation is On Like Donkey Kong

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A big pile of video game history is about to be unearthed as a group of excavators plan to dig up the stockpile of unsold E.T. video game cartridges that Atari buried in a landfill back in 1983.

Microsoft announced that they will excavate the site on Saturday, April 26th at the Alamorgordo, New Mexico landfill as part of a documentary series directed by Zak Penn, the screenwriter of X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers. The documentary will be released to Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners through Xbox Live.

The story of these buried cartridges has become a legendary but cautionary tale of video game programming. Atari rushed to make a video game to go along with the release of Steven Spielberg’s timeless cinema classic about a boy who befriends an alien stuck on Earth. The game was so unbelievably bad that Atari had truckloads of unsold cartridges that they simply buried in the landfill in the hopes that they could literally bury their massive, money-sucking mistake.

This project has been in the works since last summer when a film crew announced they wanted to do a documentary on the game and commission an excavation on the landfill. They ran into problems after the city gave them permission for the project because they needed an excavation plan, which they just finished last week. Now we’ll finally get to see what’s been hidden under the Earth for all these years. Hell, it’s possible that some of them might actually be playable. We mean the cartridges and not the actual game, which is still a massive piece of pixelated s#*$.

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