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A Rare $10,000 Atari Game Was Found At A Goodwill

A Rare $10,000 Atari Game Was Found At A Goodwill

A copy of a little-known but extremely rare Atari 2600 game was recently discovered at a Goodwill, fetching over $10,000 in an online auction.

An Atari 2600 game discovered by a Goodwill employee earlier in June was recently sold at auction for about $10,590, according to the non-profit. Proceeds from the sale are going to the organization’s North Central Texas branch, which runs programs for the homeless and disabled among other vulnerable groups.

The game itself, Air Raid, is a side-scrolling shooter from 1982, the lone release by a company called Men-A-Vision. The title has been mostly forgotten next to Atari classics such as CombatJoust, and Pitfall, but gained fame for both its scarcity and light blue cartridge, equipped with a unique plunger-style handle – presumably to make it easier to insert and remove with the 2600’s top-loading design. Only 13 or so units are thought to exist, including a complete boxed copy that sold for more than $33,400 in 2012.

The Goodwill employee, Alex Juarez, found Air Raid while going through a collection of donated items, Kotaku reports.  After it was identified, it was put up for auction on the Goodwill website, and sold seven days later for $10,590.79. That pricing is based on the cartridge alone – no box or instructions were recovered by Juarez. Indeed many surviving copies are probably without their packaging, thrown out by their owners over the decades. The idea of preserving games would have been new in 1982 as the first-ever console, the Magnavox Odyssey, had been released just a decade earlier.

Several Atari 2600 titles rank among the rarest games in the world, as Business Insider notes. Chief among these is Gamma Attack, of which just one copy was ever produced. Another title, Birthday Mania, may have been manufactured in larger quantities but is likewise down to a single cartridge. The minigame collection was explicitly intended to be given away as a birthday gift – even leaving space on its label to write the recipient’s name. Perhaps the most famous rare game, though, is Nintendo World Championships: Gold Edition for the NES. That one was awarded to the winners and runner-ups in a Nintendo Power contest, and only 26 units are thought to survive.

The actual gameplay of Atari 2600 titles has become less important in recent years. Tools are readily available to dump 2600 ROMs – including Air Raid – to PCs, which can then run the games in emulators. More popular products have been re-released or remade. Atari’s current incarnation is even developing the VCS, a console that includes 100 games plus streaming apps and Google’s Chrome browser. Still more 2600 games should be accessible via download or its PC Mode.


Source: 24baze
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