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E.T. Copies Excavated from a New Mexico Landfill to be Sold at Auction

Soon you can own a piece of gaming history.

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Some of the copies of failed video game, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and other Atari titles dug up during the excavation of a New Mexico landfill earlier this year, will be sold at auction.

The New Mexico city where the landfill is located, Alamogordo, voted this week to offer some of the 800 games found at the site through eBay and the city's own website. The auction should start in a couple weeks and is planned to be complete by Christmas, Reuters reports.

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The Alamogordo City Council unanimously voted 7-0 late Tuesday to approve the auction, which was previously up for debate. Currently, the 800 games--which also includes copies of Centipede--are being stored at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, under the watch of the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.

The development of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial was reportedly rushed so that the game's release could coincide with the theatrical debut of Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic. The game was a critical and commercial failure, however, and is said to have contributed to the video game industry's infamous collapse in the 1980s. As the story goes, Atari, burdened with millions of copies of the unwanted game, buried them in the New Mexico desert during the night. The man who was actually charged with this job, however, says Atari wasn't trying to hide anything.

Alamogordo will keep about 500 of the games, while the rest will be given to museums. According to the report, the Museum of Rome wants some of the stock.

The New Mexico landfill dig took place in April, and was documented by a Microsoft film crew for an Xbox-exclusive documentary series called Atari: Game Over. It is expected to premiere later this year.

Check out some images from the landfill dig in the gallery below.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

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