Jump to content
Spud

Atari's Landfill Adventures, I now have the proof it's true.

Recommended Posts

Remember Pet Rocks? How much are they worth now?

Repros are around $10 on ebay. There are the original ones that some are selling for around $70.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To reply to another little sub-topic, I confess I don't really understand the point of getting these working again. I guess it's kinda cool if one guy does it to prove it can be done. But to me it actually devalues the game. (I don't mean in a monetary sense, I mean in a historical sense.) I'd want it exactly as it came out of the ground. There are tons of working copies of ET or Defender or whatever out there; the point of owning one of these is to own a piece of history.

For me I would want to ressurect a Star Raiders cartridge. Yes, there are plenty of other working copies that have never been in a landfill, but for me I have a nostalgic connection to that game as my most favorite Atari 2600 game of my childhood. To me restoring one of those cartridges to working order gives it more value because there not many people who can say that they have played a game from a cartridge that laid buried in a landfill for 30 years let alone just own one of those cartridges that are from that major part of Atari history of being in the Alamogordo landfill and recovered.

 

That all being said archeologists have recovered many items that are then restored and displayed as a historical record. Does this devalue those items? Is restoring an Atari cartridge from the Alamogordo landfill truly any diffrent? From me it is about preserving this piece of history and I don't see it as diminishing it.

Edited by Tidus79001

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me I would want to ressurect a Star Raiders cartridge. Yes, there are plenty of other working copies that have never been in a landfill, but for me I have a nostalgic connection to that game as my most favorite Atari 2600 game of my childhood. To me restoring one of those cartridges to working order gives it more value because there not many people who can say that they have played a game from a cartridge that laid buried in a landfill for 30 years let alone just own one of those cartridges that are from that major part of Atari history of being in the Alamogordo landfill and recovered.

 

That all being said archeologists have recovered many items that are then restored and displayed as a historical record. Does this devalue those items? Is restoring an Atari cartridge from the Alamogordo landfill truly any diffrent? From me it is about preserving this piece of history and I don't see it as diminishing it.

I think you are both arguing from the same side, which is great. I think this debate about the how of preservation is one institutions struggle with as well. And I'm glad there are others out there who see it as more than a paperweight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That all being said archeologists have recovered many items that are then restored and displayed as a historical record. Does this devalue those items?

 

Well first, "restored" is a vague term. I certainly cannot think of anything in a museum that was literally dug up from the ground after its destruction, restored to working condition and then actually *used*. That's why they're in museums. I'm sure there are cotton looms or things like that that were just broken and lying derelict and then fixed for public demonstrations, but that's not the same as "restoring" something that was intentionally destroyed and then buried, with that object then being personally used for its original purpose in between museum stints. Nobody's walking around wearing a pair of restored eyeglasses recovered from the Titanic, or riding down 5th Avenue in Manhattan on a real Roman chariot.

 

Second, the most important thing any museum is going to consider is *what* the history behind something is. For items that are restored, the reason they're in a museum is because of their working history, not their destruction. A Roman chariot would be restored because the history being shown is probably not some specific battle that it was destroyed in, but instead just to show what chariots looked like and how they worked. There aren't a lot of working Roman chariots left in the world, so most museums have no choice but to dig one up and restore it.

 

In the case of something whose destruction is its important history, they'll just leave something as is. For example, if you go to see artifacts from the Titanic in a museum (which I have), they're not going to be restored to original or even working condition, because the point is to show what the sinking did to them. And while I'm not equating the dumping of some video games with the Titanic sinking, the point with these games is that they went into a famous landfill to be destroyed and covered up. In both cases it's the destruction that's the reason for them being historical artifacts. It's the destruction that makes them interesting.

 

I mean, whatever floats your boat I guess (no pun intended). But if I ever saw one of these games for sale with "repaired - working!" listed after it, I would actually avoid that copy. If I want a working copy of one of these games to actually play, I will just buy one and pay a fraction of the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'll bury a Haunted House ROM in the backyard. And dig it up on Halloween. Maybe even print up a COA and sell it on ebay!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well first, "restored" is a vague term. I certainly cannot think of anything in a museum that was literally dug up from the ground after its destruction, restored to working condition and then actually *used*. That's why they're in museums. I'm sure there are cotton looms or things like that that were just broken and lying derelict and then fixed for public demonstrations, but that's not the same as "restoring" something that was intentionally destroyed and then buried, with that object then being personally used for its original purpose in between museum stints. Nobody's walking around wearing a pair of restored eyeglasses recovered from the Titanic, or riding down 5th Avenue in Manhattan on a real Roman chariot.

 

Second, the most important thing any museum is going to consider is *what* the history behind something is. For items that are restored, the reason they're in a museum is because of their working history, not their destruction. A Roman chariot would be restored because the history being shown is probably not some specific battle that it was destroyed in, but instead just to show what chariots looked like and how they worked. There aren't a lot of working Roman chariots left in the world, so most museums have no choice but to dig one up and restore it.

 

In the case of something whose destruction is its important history, they'll just leave something as is. For example, if you go to see artifacts from the Titanic in a museum (which I have), they're not going to be restored to original or even working condition, because the point is to show what the sinking did to them. And while I'm not equating the dumping of some video games with the Titanic sinking, the point with these games is that they went into a famous landfill to be destroyed and covered up. In both cases it's the destruction that's the reason for them being historical artifacts. It's the destruction that makes them interesting.

 

I mean, whatever floats your boat I guess (no pun intended). But if I ever saw one of these games for sale with "repaired - working!" listed after it, I would actually avoid that copy. If I want a working copy of one of these games to actually play, I will just buy one and pay a fraction of the cost.

I don't mean restored to the point of perfection but restored to the point of being playable. See the following video for example of an Asteroids cartridge that was restored to playable condition that came from the Alamogordo landfill. I am not suggesting anything that would go as far replacing the PCB, or putting it into a new cartridge shell, but get getting the current ROM to the point where the game will run while retaining all it's original parts (PCB, ROM chip, and cartridge shell and label).

 

 

 

Anyone interested in seeing the restore process for that cartridge can view the video below (I would link to that start point but the code is not being recognized when trying to embed the video into this post, but the link below will externally start the video at the 6:06 time index)

https://youtu.be/gnoUDE3aY0o?t=366

Edited by Tidus79001
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me I would want to ressurect a Star Raiders cartridge. Yes, there are plenty of other working copies that have never been in a landfill, but for me I have a nostalgic connection to that game as my most favorite Atari 2600 game of my childhood. To me restoring one of those cartridges to working order gives it more value because there not many people who can say that they have played a game from a cartridge that laid buried in a landfill for 30 years let alone just own one of those cartridges that are from that major part of Atari history of being in the Alamogordo landfill and recovered.

 

That all being said archeologists have recovered many items that are then restored and displayed as a historical record. Does this devalue those items? Is restoring an Atari cartridge from the Alamogordo landfill truly any diffrent? From me it is about preserving this piece of history and I don't see it as diminishing it.

I personally think that attempts at restoration would devalue the game because plenty of otherwise identical artifacts are available cheaply in playable condition. If no games existed other than what was in the landfill, then an attempt at restoration would have more merit.

 

The value of the game is in the fact it was part of a historical event (the game burial) and not because of the ROM contained within.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Museums do have to touch up their artifacts though. Sunlight, oxidation, damage from being manipulated and must choose how to manage preservation vs preserving the integrity of the original. Restoring a game to working would be a radical option and one Im not sure I would personally agree with. The implication behind it is that games lose their "gameness" if they don't work but this will need reevaluation when none of these carts work in 50 or so years. Better to get used to them as simply historical now so it isn't so weird in a few decades. And besides we'll still have game-games and emulators. That said, I see this debate as a healthy and important one to have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neither opinion is incorrect. I see both sides and cannot disagree with either.

 

IMO, generally a loose copy will have less desirability than a sealed box/clamshell plastic sealed copy from this dig, unless it is actually ET.

 

For me, I prefer sealed copies, and kept missile command and centipede (second or third wave of original sales, I forget) while reselling a loose defender with a starting bid at $.99 which did not make me any money (first wave), These fit my display needs better than loose copies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per Joe Lewandowski, any cart without matching COA and tag are not to be considered authentic.

 

I was more humorously speculating about how much a cart that had been buried in my back yard may be worth...

 

Presumably someone would buy it, even if it lacked the official documentation; think of it as a second-tier collectible for those that cannot afford the "authentic" piece, but who still want something that has been buried in a landfill.

 

(In reality, I do not have a yard in which to bury something -- I live in an apartment -- nor do I have any desire to sell anything on E-Bay, much less landfill cartridges. I am just interested to see what collectors will spent money on.)

 

 

I think I'll bury a Haunted House ROM in the backyard. And dig it up on Halloween. Maybe even print up a COA and sell it on ebay!

 

Keatah understands this concept!

Edited by jhd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well first, "restored" is a vague term. I certainly cannot think of anything in a museum that was literally dug up from the ground after its destruction, restored to working condition and then actually *used*. That's why they're in museums. I'm sure there are cotton looms or things like that that were just broken and lying derelict and then fixed for public demonstrations, but that's not the same as "restoring" something that was intentionally destroyed and then buried, with that object then being personally used for its original purpose in between museum stints. Nobody's walking around wearing a pair of restored eyeglasses recovered from the Titanic, or riding down 5th Avenue in Manhattan on a real Roman chariot.

 

Slightly O/T, but still relevant:

 

A WW II aircraft was recovered from under the ice in Greenland and restored to flying condition. Granted, the plane was abandoned there rather than intentionally destroyed and buried.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Girl

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its great knowing what truly happened and and reading all the nay sayers early on in this thread. i bid on an E.T. back when they had a few on eBay with a certificate signed by the ?mayor?. would have over paid for a crushed cart but the history is amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who live in apartments, one could put an ET in the dumpster, then document a "Dumpster Dive for Retro Gold", with accompanying COA, and sell it right here on AA in the Marketplace.

Maybe I'll just create a COA for the handful of ET carts that have been buried in my closet for 20 years. I'll even sign it Nolan Bushnell for added cachet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who live in apartments, one could put an ET in the dumpster, then document a "Dumpster Dive for Retro Gold", with accompanying COA, and sell it right here on AA in the Marketplace.

 

Not exactly retro, but someone recently left an Xbox 360 (complete in box!) in my building's dumpster. Previously, there was an obviously very damaged flat-screen TV (from which I scavenged the HDMI video cable). In a previous apartment, I found some 2600 joysticks and a crushed Donkey Kong Jr. cartridge laying just beside the dumpster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could just bury an E.T cartridge along with some rancid garbage like hamburger meat or rotten chicken parts that are not safe to eat and bury both in your backyard. Can't say if the dogs/raccoons will dig it up though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who live in apartments, one could put an ET in the dumpster, then document a "Dumpster Dive for Retro Gold", with accompanying COA, and sell it right here on AA in the Marketplace.

 

You might hear from the lawyers for Storage Wars, treading very close to their intellectual property there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At some point, we all visited this thread for the last time...and no one realized it. 
 

until now. 
 

:ponder:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Mock said:

At some point, we all visited this thread for the last time...and no one realized it. 
 

until now. 
 

:ponder:

To be honest, I didn't even remember writing my last reply up there, and it was only 3 years ago. Who's this moron talking about Roman chariots?!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2017 at 6:11 AM, Andromeda Stardust said:

Thank you, Spud, if you're still here, for starting this thread!

Better late then never on the reply right? Glad things turned out the way they did. Pretty cool. Thanks to those who got the dig and documentary going. I slightly remember the producers or somebody with the documentary emailed me wanted to know if I wanted to be interviewed for a clip or something, too long ago. I passed. Guess they got my info from the thread. I'm sure others on here got the same offer. Will have to check back in a few years again.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Spud said:

Better late then never on the reply right? Glad things turned out the way they did. Pretty cool. Thanks to those who got the dig and documentary going. I slightly remember the producers or somebody with the documentary emailed me wanted to know if I wanted to be interviewed for a clip or something, too long ago. I passed. Guess they got my info from the thread. I'm sure others on here got the same offer. Will have to check back in a few years again.

Revival!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, sciflyer25 said:

Revival!

 

So in summary, Atari did not make too many E.T.'s, etc. and was not trying to hide them? These (buried carts) instead were customer returns that couldn't be resold as new? It seems wasteful, but not the insanity that the legend held?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, towmater said:

So in summary, Atari did not make too many E.T.'s, etc. and was not trying to hide them? These (buried carts) instead were customer returns that couldn't be resold as new? It seems wasteful, but not the insanity that the legend held?

Not even close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...