Atari game sells for $2,000 on eBay

The happy atari kid

An Atari game cartridge called Pepsi Invaders has sold for $1,825 on eBay. According to Atari Age, Coca Cola commissioned this game to be given to its Atlanta employees. The gameplay is the same as the classic game, Space Invaders, but with the letters "P E P S I" in the place of the alien invaders. The auction's owner bought the game with a bunch of others in a flea market ten years ago, only now realising its value.

The value of rare games and consoles is hard to judge, especially since the majority of retro games are easily emulated on modern day PCs and consoles. It's hard to say what makes people pay so much for games that were created relatively recently, in comparison with antiques and other collectibles. Its certainly not the ability to be able to play the game itself. No self respecting collector would actually play a game more than two decades old, for fear of breaking part of their collection.

If a gamer has some sense of nostalgia about a game, it's not hard to go and find an emulator that will play the game. So does games culture really need game collectors? Wouldn't this $2,000 have made a much more positive impact if it was donated to a special cause or charity? With the internet making games and their emulators easily accessible, it's hard to understand why we crave material packaging for what is essentially non-physical software.

[Via digg]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.