The hoard of classic video games from the Atari Tomb unearthed in an Alamogordo landfill in 2014 will be offered for sale.
Of the 283 games remaining, 100 will become part of the Tularosa Basin Historical Society archive. The rest will be sold on eBay the profits of which will be split evenly between the Tularosa Basin Historical Society and the City of Alamogordo.
The exact date the games will be offered for sale on eBay was not released.
Funds from the sale earned by the City will be used to finish the the pergola at the Alamogordo Public Library, the Railroad History Park and to the Dudley School project.
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“The City of Alamogordo is excited and pleased about the sale of the remaining Atari games,” Alamogordo City Manager Brian Cesar said. “Although we know that there are many more that remain in our landfill, the excavation of the games we do have remains an exciting chapter in the history of the City. The monies raised by the sale of the games will be used to enhance quality of life for the citizens of Alamogordo for many years to come.”
The dig uncovered 1,382 games under 60 different titles in 2014.
The sale of 800 games in 2014 by the City of Alamogordo and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society raised more than $107,000.
From 2015Last E.T. cartridges up for sale on eBay
The E.T. games sold at that time raised between $800 and $1,535 each through sale on eBay.
Those monies funded projects at Alameda Park Zoo, Alamogordo Public Library, Alamogordo Police Department and projects at the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.
How did Alamogordo become a burial site for Atari games?
In 1983 Atari began the process of dumping 29 truckloads of games and consoles in the old Alamogordo landfill.
Twelve of those truckloads completed their video game paraphernalia dump when rumors began to circulate of people sneaking into the landfill and appropriating Atari game cartridges.
In response to the games’ unlawful extraction from the landfill, the City of Alamogordo ended Atari’s access to the old landfill and passed an ordinance preventing further out-of-town waste from being dumped at the landfill.
The games and consoles were then covered in concrete to prevent pilferage.
From 2015:Film explores Atari’s rise, fall, dumping of ‘ET’ videogame
The landfill closed in 1989, and today the City of Alamogordo is working on project to convert its surface into a solar array.
In 2014, a dig began to find the Atari Tomb and on the second day of the dig, April 25, 2014, the tomb was found.
“Approximately 792,000 games were buried; we were able to recover over 1,300 games along with systems components and remnants of the 2600 console,” Joe Lewandowski of Operational Consultants, a waste collection and environmental consulting service, and Tularosa Basin Historical Society said.
Lewandowski said that Atari disposed of the Atari 2600 game systems because the Atari 5200 game system was about to launch.
“The reason that it appears is that Atari was going broke, loosing over $300 million dollars in the prior quarter,” Lewandowski said. “We were told they were shutting down this operation, three very large warehouses to sell, layoff of 300 employees and getting rid of inventory.”
Some of the first games recovered were Asteroids, Star Raiders and E.T.
Lewandowski worked for three years to figure out where the Atari Tomb was located.
Lewandowski was working at the landfill in 1983 and had a vague recollection of the Atari Tomb’s location. He used newspapers, photos and a couple of Polaroids from a scrapbook made by his wife Debra.
The dig was planned and executed when Lewandowski was contacted by The Discovery Channel which filmed the dig and eventual unearthing of the Atari Tomb. The film was produced by Lightbox and Fuel Entertainment and it was called “Atari: Game Over.”
Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.
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