Where the Media was the Archaeology
Keywords:Alamogordo, archaeogaming, archaeology, Atari documentary, E.T., excavation, garbology, Howard Scott Warshaw, methods
A team of archaeologists excavated Alamogordo, New Mexico’s famed “Atari Burial Ground” in 2014 to media fanfare and public speculation of what archaeology is. This salvage project was the first archaeological dig of an assemblage of video games, in this case thousands of Atari cartridges buried by the company in 1983, quickly becoming the stuff of urban legend. Filmed by documentarians for Microsoft’s Xbox Live, the dig marked a global confluence of science, spectacle, and social media, a literal archaeology of media.
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