The ET landfill site is, then, symbolic, the battered cartridges a representation of sacrifice. Or perhaps these cartridges are abiding symbols of gigantic hubris. "Its as much about the shattered dreams of a company like Atari said Jonathan Chinn of Lightbox Entertainment, the production company making the excavation documentary, at the sxsw festival this year. And suddenly, it was all true. In 1983, the video game company Atari really did send truck-loads of unsold video games into the New Mexico desert to be buried in a landfill site. Really, though, this is about the human need to create mythologies around our lives and interests. Every nation, every artform, every pursuit is rich in folklore somehow we need to feel the weight of eternity in everything we do. Even now, there are people on the gaming forum NeoGaf who insist this whole thing is fake. Mankind cannot bear too much reality especially when conspiracy is much more fun. Digging up legends, drill down to the facts, and they are not as compelling. In 1983, not many gamers around the world had access to the New York Times, and for many years, stories about the ET game a very poor movie adaptation rushed on to the shelves in December 1982 to cash in on the huge success of Steven Spielberg's hit movie circulated as speculation. And ET certainly wasn't the worst game of all time, either it wasn't even the worst game on the Atari 2600. But people don't take film crews into the New Mexico desert with Microsoft spokespeople in tow to dig up facts; they go to dig up legends, and that is exactly what they have.
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