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Those excavated ET video game cartridges are being auctioned off

Remember when Xbox Entertainment Studios and Lightbox Entertainment spent a weekend digging up a bunch of Atari cartridges from a landfill? Both studios may have gotten the documentary footage they were looking for, but what do you do with the cartridges after the joy of proving an urban tale fades? In the case of Alamogordo, the town that has jurisdiction over said landfill, you sell more than half of them.

It would seem that the saga of Atari’s video-game mass grave in New Mexico is coming to a close. The Alamogordo City council has voted unanimously to auction off half of the recovered cartridges (around 800 of ’em, according to Reuters). Interested in owning a piece of history? Eurogamer says that we should see the items — a likely majority of which will be E.T. — pop up on eBay and the council’s website within the next few weeks. Of the remaining carts, the city plans to keep 500 of them and the rest will be donated to museums. If you still can’t get enough of the tale, there’s always the upcoming Microsoft-backed documentary and our own interview with E.T.’s sole developer, Howard Scott Warshaw. The move to sell these to the highest bidder instead of at a fixed price is a pretty clear indication that city is being a bit opportunistic and taking advantage of nostalgia, if you ask us — something that probably rubbed off from Atari itself.

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