E.T.'s March Forever

Hey everyone. This was the homepage of E.T.'s March, a planned 2008 documentary by a group of Auburn University students on the E.T. video game landfill purported to exist in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Due to the high cost of gas in Spring 2008 and personal conflicts, the documentary was never able to be filmed.

I took down the original site because I was getting tired of getting an email every other day about a new spam comment on the blog, so we're left with just this page now.

If you want to pick up the mantle and try doing this yourselves, please do! I'd love to see this become realized one day. Technically our project's just on hold, but it looks like Life will prevent us from ever trying again at this point.

Shoot me an email at myfirstname.mylastname@gmail.com if you have any questions! Thanks everyone for your support.

-Steven Clontz

Here's the original "About" page content, below.

What is E.T.’s March?

The first question on everyone’s mind, we’re sure! E.T.’s March is the name we’ve given our upcoming internet documentary, to be released in Summer 2008. A documentary about what, though? First, a history lesson, brought to you by the most credible of sources, Wikipedia.

In September 1983, the Alamogordo Daily News of Alamogordo, New Mexico reported in a series of articles that between ten and twenty semi-trailer truckloads of Atari boxes, cartridges, and systems from an Atari storehouse in El Paso were crushed and buried at the landfill within the city. It was Atari’s first dealings with the landfill, which was chosen because no scavenging was allowed and its garbage was crushed and buried nightly. Atari’s stated reason for the burial was that they were changing from Atari 2600 to Atari 5200 games, but this was later contradicted by a worker who claimed that this was not the case. Atari official Bruce Enten stated that Atari was mostly sending broken and returned cartridges to the Alamogordo dump and that it was “by-and-large inoperable stuff.”

In reality, the games in question were fully-functional copies of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, for the Atari 2600. Atari had high hopes for what many point to as the first example of licensed video game crap, but ultimately had to dispose of hundreds of thousands of copies when they realized, hey, nobody wants to buy a game where all you do is float in and out of holes for hours on end.

Okay, but, why a documentary?

E.T.’s landfill burial marks a turning point in Video Game History. The home console industry fell into a downward spiral that wouldn’t be reversed until a certain Italian plumber hit the scene years later. Essentially, E.T.’s fate stands as a reminder of what can happen when video games go wrong.

This is what we wish to document. Over the course of a week, March 15-23, 2008, we will travel from our home in Auburn, AL, to El Paso, Texas. We will retrace the path those dozen semis took, to the landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, that the cartridges lay in today. Part historical investigation, part spiritual journey, we believe E.T.’s March will stand as a testament to the times we live in. We may find that small New Mexican landfill, or we may not. But at least, we may find ourselves.

Who are you guys?

We’re a group of friends hailing from Auburn University, Alabama. While our backgrounds vary, our goals are one and the same: to create this beautiful work of art, E.T.’s March.

The Leader: Steven Clontz

A mathematics major, Steven is the inspiration to us all. It was his idea to devote our Spring Break to uncovering these mysteries of the Atari Landfill incident of 1983. Handsome, clever, and talented, he serves as producer and director for what will soon become the classic documentary of the early 21st century. He also created our website, and wove the tapestry of words you find here.

The Researcher: Adam Cooner

Adam is a Pre-Veterinary animal science major, and has done the extensive research for our documentary. Although we’ve never actually seen the results of this research, we have full faith in our friend that he has organized what is bound to be the most intellectually stimulating journey ever made in the name of an Atari 2600 game.

The Visionary: Brent Harrison

Wielding dual degrees in Computer Science and English, Brent wishes to remind everyone that, “Our hermeneutic quest to find the Lacanian Real via this odyssey into the scorching sands of the New Mexican desert serves as our rebellion against the corporate hegemony that led to the untimely internment of E.T. to its sunbaked sepulcher. Free yourself, man.” We think you’ll agree, never has so little been said, by so much.

The Muscle: Nick Friedlein

This journey does has its risks. Luckily, we have Nick, a political science major and a proud sailor in the U.S. Navy, to be the Ben Grimm to our Reed Richards. While we aren’t trying to say having a member of the United States Armed Forces on our team makes us totally more badass than that Michael Moore hack, that’s kind of basically what it means, huh? (Due to mitigating circumstances beyond our control, Nick got a life and won’t be joining us on our journey.)

The Navigator: Isaac McNeely

Replacing Nick is the able zoology major Isaac. We’re counting on Isaac, the only person on our team who’s actually been to New Mexico before, to keep us from getting lost in the vast Southwestern deserts. Also, he owns a Power Glove. Remember the Power Glove? You can think of it as basically the hardware equivalent of the suckiness of E.T.; it’s so bad.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

We’ll put up a group shot of us soon.

Oh and by the way…

We’re not officially associated with Auburn University, or anyone really. Sorry to disappoint. We’re just hosted on Auburn.edu because the university gives us free hosting as students. Sweet, huh?