The Atari Landfill Excavation took placeApril 26 in Alamogordo, New Mexico to unearth millions of unsold “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” video game cartridges.
Now, around 800 of the cartridges will be headed for auction at eBay as voted by the embers of the Alamogordo City Council in a 7-0 vote late on Tuesday.
Joe Lewandowski, who was the dig site supervisor, said the decision by the council to auction more than half of the games was like watching a “phoenix rising from the desert.”
“It was like the beginning, end, and a new beginning for the video game industry when we found these games,” Lewandowski told Reuters, adding that the sale should begin in two weeks and be complete before Christmas.
He said the city planned to keep some of the remaining 500 or so games as mementos, and the rest of the cartridges will be donated to museums around the world.
“We’ve already heard from the Museum of Rome, which has a section for video games,” he said.
Lewandowski, who admits he doesn’t play video games himself, said he became enthralled by the search through a dig site that was 30 feet (nine meters) deep and had a perimeter of 40 feet by 100 feet (12 meters by 30 meters).
“To me, it was a treasure hunt,” he said.