You’ve likely heard the tale before: Millions of unsold copies of the disastrous ET: The Extraterrestrial game for the Atari 2600 lie buried in a New Mexico landfill. Despite a slew of believers and evidence supporting the story, doubters remain. But in the next few months, we’ll have the answer once and for all.
Those long buried copies of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the infamous Atari 2600 game that many believe contributed to the great North American video game industry crash of 1983, might be worth digging up thanks to a hacker who has seemingly fixed its biggest bugs.
You might recall his story: After reading up about the scarcity of the game, Harv and his daughter Alana went treasure hunting in the family storage shed, excitedly finding Harv’s pristine copy amidst stacks of other Atari 2600 games. After verifying its authenticity, they put it up for bidding at video game auction site Gamegavel.com, hoping collectors would go nuts.
For Harv Bennet, however, being a packrat is about to pay off big time.
October 14 marks the 35th birthday of the legendary game console, which landed with a bang in 1977. It wasn’t the first home video game system — that honor belongs to the Magnavox Odyssey — but it quickly became the most widely adopted and set the standard for many, many years.
While the video game itself might have been invented before Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney decided to start the company, it was Atari that effectively launched the video game industry. And it was on this date 40 years ago that Atari began its march toward history.