Smithsonian Institution Moves E.T. From Landfill to Display
A dirty piece of gaming history is going to the Smithsonian Institution.
The Smithsonian Institution has revealed it will be adding Atari's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to the ranks of its video game history collection. This collection includes Ralph Baer's Brown Box prototype, a Pong arcade cabinet by Nolan Bushnell and all sorts of vintage titles. During the early 1980s when the U.S. video game industry crashed due to a saturated marketplace filled with subpar games, a title rose among the ranks of being the worst piece of crap game out of them all: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Thanks to Fuel Entertainment's Gerhard Runken, Daniel Schechter and Mike Burns, the Smithsonian was able to add a copy of E.T. excavated from an Alarmogordo landfill this past summer. Atari buried thousands of games that no one wanted in this pit , which perfectly symbolized the state of the industry during this time. Howard Scott Warshaw designed the game by himself with just five weeks instead of the usual six to nine months of development to coincide with the release of the movie. As a result, people despised the game and it just collected dust until Atari decided to bury its garbage.
Despite how we feel about movie-based titles (shudder), we're glad to see yet another piece of gaming history become immortalized and preserved by the Smithsonian.