Date Set For “E.T.” Atari Cartridges Landfill Dig: April 26

Do millions of game cartridges want to be found?

Do millions of game cartridges want to be found?

The world still doesn’t know for sure whether there really are millions of unsold copies of the game “E.T.” for the Atari 2500 buried in a landfill in New Mexico. Maybe that secret would have stayed buried if not for the team who thought that it might be fun and worthwhile to search for them and make a documentary film about the process.

In 1982, the company released a tie-in game for the mega-successful Spielberg flick. If it’s based on a popular enough movie, a game doesn’t have to make sense, right? The game was a hastily-done, confusing adventure game a few years before the technology to make a non-crappy adventure game really existed.

The team first announced this project back in June, but it’s been held up since then by the need to get the proper permits.

Here’s a walkthrough of the game filmed in 1982. Even for that era, it looks dull and unrewarding.

There is now more interest in the game’s legend than there ever was in the game itself, mostly because of its role in hurrying along the demise of Atari and leading to the early-’80s video game crash.

If you find yourself near Almogordo, New Mexico, on the 26th, you can even join the festivities. The filmmakers welcome members of the public, but haven’t specified whether they want observers to bring a shovel and join in the search. The game’s designer is among the luminaries who will join archaeologists and trash contractors at the landfill as the search begins.

Buried ’80s Atari ‘E.T.’ Games to Be Unearthed [ABC News Radio]