The Capitalism of Late Archaeology: Alamogordo’s Atari Games on Ebay

Archaeology and gaming…


Boxed ET Game on Ebay Boxed E.T. Game on Ebay

My friend, colleague, and fellow Punk Archaeologist Prof. Bill Caraher introduced me to what he calls the “archaeology of late capitalism”, and he wrote yesterday (Nov. 3, 2014 for those of you in the future) on his blog about Alamogordo’s Ebay auctions of Atari games excavated from the landfill back in April. (For those of you under-rock dwellers unfamiliar with the urban-legend-that-wasn’t-really-a-legend of Atari dumping hundreds of thousands of games in a New Mexico landfill in 1983, read the executive summary on Snopes). I’m calling this latest phase in the history of use of these games “the capitalism of late archaeology”, a turn of phrase suggested by Prof. Josh Reno of Binghamton University when I spoke there in October. I’ll talk more about the ethics of the sale of artifacts below.

The excavation of the Atari cartridges, brief as it was (two days of…

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About Jack

BRIEF BIO: Jack Gunter is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and songs. He is the co-owner of Open Door Communications, a copywriter, an inventor, and a former broker and private investigator. He is a naturalist and an amateur scientist and cryptologist. He likes to compose music and to design and play games and puzzles of all types. He homeschooled his children. He lives in the Upstate of South Carolina with his beautiful wife, talented two daughters, his old friend and Great Dane Sam, and his three Viking Cats.

Posted on November 5, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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