ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) - 1982 brought a video game so bad it's credited with nearly taking down the entire industry.
The Atari 2600 version of the hit movie E.T. was so unplayable, millions of copies went unsold with millions more returned.
Legend has it Atari needed to dump the extra merchandise and extra consoles as the industry crashed in 1983.
So they made a deal to dump at least nine semi trucks full of that merchandise from its El Paso plant in an Alamogordo, N.M., landfill in late September 1983. The games were crushed and buried under concrete.
The Alamogordo Daily News ran a number of stories on the Atari dump, but what was exactly buried there wasn't confirmed.
Joe Lewandowski, who ran a garbage company at the time, claims he knows where the dump site is in the 100-acre landfill and that he spotted what was in the truck.
"It was the game systems, actually the game systems themselves. It was actual cartridges and games, ET and so on," Lewandowski said.
Nobody's ever made a serious attempt at digging up the burial site.
On Tuesday the Alamogordo City Commission approved a deal with Canada-based film production and entertainment company Fuel Industries to excavate the Atari dump site and create a documentary surrounding the Alamogordo landfill legend.
According to the contract, Fuel Industries has access to the landfill for the next six months, which would cover the 30-year anniversary of the alleged dump.
City officials are hoping it brings Alamogordo some attention.
"I hope more people find out about Alamogordo through this opportunity that we have to unearth the Atari games in the landfill," Mayor Susie Galea said.
An e-mail and phone call to Fuel Industries were not returned Wednesday.
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