What happens when video games dumped in a landfill over 30 years ago are dug up? In 2014 this is exactly what happened: the infamous "Atari burial ground" located Alamogordo, New Mexico was excavated by a team of archaeologists for the documentary Atari: Game Over. This talk, by a member of the archaeology team, will explore the process of trash disposed of in 1983 becoming present day souvenir (the City auctioned the retrieved games via eBay to earn $100K) and museum artifact.
Raiford Guins is a Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in The Media School, Indiana University. He is a Founding Principal Editor with the Journal of Visual Culture and edits the MIT Press book series, Game Histories, with Henry Lowood. Guins is the author of Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game After (MIT Press, 2014) and is currently researching his next book: Atari Modern: A Design History of Atari’s Coin-Op Cabinets, 1972 – 1979 (Bloomsbury Academic). His writings on game history appear in the following journals and magazines: The Atlantic, Cabinet, Design and Culture, Design Issues, Digital Culture & Education, Game Studies, Journal of Design History, Journal of Visual Culture, and Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture.