E.T. Atari landfill unearthed

James / April 26th, 2014

Well it’s a big year for what started as a little urban legend about Atari dumping their shitty games in a landfill. There will be two movies, both to be released this year. One is Microsoft’s documentary, the real life story in which they dig up the games. The other is, of course, my own independent fictional take, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie (more exciting updates to follow in the coming months).


Of course today is the big landfill excavation and everybody and their grandma is contacting me about it. I’ve known about the project for a while, and I’ve been in talks with them. Why I have never posted anything is because I respect the secrecy of any project as much as my own. I was going to be involved at the excavation, but of all dates, it landed on my daughter’s one year birthday, which is my priority.


As I’ve expected, they’ve unearthed the motherload of shit, but think about how many people threw that game in the garbage. I’m sure you can dig up any landfill and find at least a few copies of that game. I bet there’s some in my backyard. But anyway, I guess everyone’s expecting a response from me, or some kind of reaction. Well it’s strangely hilarious. It’s weird. The kind of thing where the planets align by some mysterious stroke of fate. When I first heard about the plans to dig up the games, I was beyond shocked. Imagine if you were making a movie about the search for Nessie, and then all of a sudden, somebody drains Loch Ness. What were the chances?


I remember back in 2007 when I first started writing the AVGN movie, I did a lot of heavy research on the landfill. There was A LOT more information available about it back then, however there was less interest. It was more like a cult thing that only few people knew about. But the few people who were, were obsessed. Over the years, it’s gained more widespread attention. I’ve watched the story grow bigger. And now it’s huge, which oddly enough, makes my “alternate reality” fictional take on the story more timely than ever.


UPDATE: In response to some of the naive comments, the movie is science fiction / adventure. If any of the events that take place in the movie, happen in real life, then God help us!


UPDATE #2: I’ve been getting lots of emails stating that the “MILLIONS” of unsold E.T. carts have still never been found. That’s a good point to bring up, so I guess this blog deserves a revision. I haven’t had time to look into the results of the excavation, so I just listened to all the press and the hype. Seems everyone had the notion that since some E.T. carts were found, it confirmed the legend. End of story.  But no. What they actually found was a generic Atari dump with all kinds of different Atari games, E.T. being one of them. While, yes they found a few E.T.’s in there, the “myth” has always been that millions of unsold E.T. games were dumped. The generic Atari dumping, and the E.T. overstock were two separate incidents, but have sort of been fused together in peoples’ minds. So unless they found the millions of copies, those are still out there. Or have been destroyed. Or recycled into other games. Or all the game stores dumped them locally. Who knows. So the only thing this recent excavation proves is the generic Atari dumping (from their El Paso plant) is true, which has already been documented in Alamogordo newspapers 30 years ago. 


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