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Businessman discussing analysis charts or graphs o 2022 08 24 22 45 06 utcBuried in a dusty landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, are more than 700,000 discarded Atari game cartridges, including E.T., the 1982 Atari game based on the blockbuster film. This bleak trove of artifacts symbolizes the video game crash of 1983, when consumer demand plummeted and companies like Atari literally dumped their cartridges in the trash.

Why did the popularity of Atari video games rise exponentially only to collapse seemingly overnight? As soon as creative original Atari games like Centipede and Space Invaders hit store shelves, many, many imitations flooded the market.