Everybody knew the Atari E.T. game was bad when it was released back in 1982.
So bad, in fact, that video game historians blame it for the collapse of the home video game industry in 1983.
However, nobody would have ever guessed that the 8-bit music track game was so super bad that it would continue to contaminate the environment decades later.
“After taking soil samples from the landfill where the Atari E.T. games cartridges where unearth, lab tests have determined the level of toxic contamination is so high, it warrants an immediate shutdown of the facility and placement on the superfund cleanup list for decontamination,” read the EPA press release. “So as of 0800 hours today, the EPA has taken over the landfill, permanently closing it to the public.”
Shortly thereafter, white unmarked vans and men wearing hazardous materials (HAZMAT) suits soon arrived at the waste disposal facility.
Despite having been cordoned off with police caution tape, however, a number of local children were spotted at the landfill, looking for copies of the E.T. games for themselves.
“I pulled up on a group of them,” said Officer Jose Martinez of the Armijo Police Department.
However, the children did not yield to the police and bolted off on their bikes instead.
“One had an E.T. game cartage in his basket, so I decided to chase him,” said Officer Martinez.
As Officer Martinez called his dispatcher for back up, the pursuit was joined by a number of white unmarked vans, men in HAZMAT suits as well as men wearing business suits and dark sunglasses.
“We were closing in on the kid,” said Officer Martinez. “When all of a sudden his bike began to fly up in the air.”
Both police and government officials called off the pursuit and called in homeland security.
“They took him out with a Hellfire missile launched from a predator drone platform,” said Officer Martinez.
Later, men in HAZMAT suits recovered the Atari E.T. game cartage from the twisted wreckage of the kid’s bike.
“The basket was still smoldering,” said Officer Martinez. “Good news though. The contents were recovered undamaged.”
The military has since taken control of the landfill and posted a sign stating, “Welcome to Area 52”.