On The Worst Videogame in History


I’m working on some minor layout changes for the blog as I type this, but since I like multitasking I’m also reading up on my usual forums. In one of them there is a debate going on about the worst game “ever”. Some of the names that keep popping up are Superman 64, Cosmic Race, and Devo Presents: Adventures of the Smart Patrol. I would just like to remind you guys that despite the incredible level of aesthetic and ludic dissonance in these games (I just said that they suck and look like crap), none of them had so many copies left unsold that they had to be buried in the middle of a landfill in a desert. E.T. for Atari, the worst game in history, is not only painful to look at and gloriously asymphonic in the sound department, but the gameplay is flawed and the game space is incoherent. It tried to piggyback off the fame of the movie, but because it really was, and still is, the worst game ever, most of its copies were left unsold, and many of the sold copies were returned. The unsold copies were buried in an Arizona landfill. More importantly, because of this game flopping to the level that it did, nearly at the same time that the Pac Man atari port flopped, E.T. is credited with being the moment where the Great Videogame Crash of 1983 began. I agree. So, worst game in history? E.T.

To be fair, uDraw has a similarly huge number of unsold copies in the manufacturer’s warehouses, but at least there are no plans to burry those, and with the game industry being in one of the strongest moments in history, I don’t see uDraw being credited with a second videogame crash anytime soon.

*Curious Update*
I googled “E.T. Atari” and on the “related searches” section it linked to “Superman 64”.

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About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on May 25, 2012, in Video Game Commentary and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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