Dredging up videogame history is serious business
Atari’s waste was treated like any archeological find, Penn explains. “I thought they were joking when they said an archaeologist wants to come along, but these guys weren’t kidding. They’re archaeologists who do stuff for the Smithsonian and they approached it in this very serious way… If you dig up a ten-thousand-year-old arrow head you’d try and figure out if it was stuck in the side of an animal, who fired it, [and] where did they live? That’s what these guys were doing.” After the carts were recovered they were held and indexed by the city of Alamogordo; as with any treasure haul, the landowner takes a cut.