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Very Rare Air Raid Atari Cartridge Found

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Back in 2010, I wrote a story about some very rare and very expensive video games. Thanks to that article, Tanner Sandlin of Austin, Texas, realized he had one of only a handful of known copies of the Atari game, Air Raid. Normally the cartridge sells for about $3000 online, but Sandlin had an ace up his sleeve: the game’s original box, which had never been seen before. The game and the box wound up selling for $31,600 on eBay.

If you think that's crazy, there's a good chance that Tanner's auction-price record is about to be shattered.

Recently, a man in California (we'll call him Lucky, as he would prefer to remain anonymous), was reading another article about rare Atari games. Naturally, Air Raid was mentioned, as was the $31,600 sale price. Lucky recalled that he'd been given a sample copy of the game by a sales rep back in the 1980s when Lucky was an assistant manager at a drug store that sold video games. Lucky took the game home, played it for a few minutes, but decided he didn't want to order it for the store's inventory. When he told the sales rep he could have the game back, the rep said not to bother because none of his other clients were all that interested, either. Lucky stuck his copy of Air Raid in an old Atari display case at home, where it sat virtually untouched for the next 30 years.

Upon reading the article, Lucky and his daughter scoured through his old collection and found they had the second known copy of Air Raid in the box. But unlike the copy that Tanner bought from a clearance bin at a discount store in the mid-1980s, Lucky’s Air Raid has never been in circulation, so the box is in near-perfect condition.

As Lucky and his daughter were taking photos of the box to send to Albert Yarusso, the owner of AtariAge.com (who personally examined Sandlin’s Air Raid box in 2010), they discovered something else tucked inside: the instruction manual. Before now, there was only speculation that a manual even existed, so this makes Lucky’s the only “CIB” (Complete In Box) copy of Air Raid ever found.

After verifying that the cartridge still worked, Lucky and his daughter put Air Raid up for sale on GameGavel.com, an auction site exclusively for video games. Will it break Sandlin’s $31,600 sale-price record? Watch the auction and find out!

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The Playhouse Theatre
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The World’s First Minecraft Play Debuts in Northern Ireland
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The Playhouse Theatre

There are a lot of replicas of real-world locations in Minecraft, but there are few replicas of real-life performances. The latest show to premiere at the Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, though, takes place both on stage and online. In what the theater is billing as the world’s first live play inside Minecraft, actors will perform both in real life and through digital avatars.

Playcraft Live is adapted from a series of young adult sci-fi novels called TimeRiders, which follows a group of teens as they work to stop future time travelers from changing history—in the case of this story, in the Neolithic Age. While the play was written by TimeRiders author Alex Scarrow, Minecraft users were involved in producing it, helping professional video game designers build out one of the virtual sets as part of a Minecraft buildathon in late September.

Three Minecraft renderings of Times Square
The Playhouse Theatre

The performance will be split between the actors live on stage and puppeteers controlling the avatars in the game. “Audiences within the theater, and online, will experience the production as a single live-stream, and neither audience needs to own Minecraft in order to view the stream,” according to a press release from the theater.

The play debuts on October 14 in Northern Ireland, and you can also watch it online via livestream.

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Zillow to Introduce 3D Tours of Houses and Apartments
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Chances are you’ve been fooled by a too-good-to-be-true housing ad, from that “spacious, light-filled” abode that was actually dark and cramped to the “two-bedroom” apartment that was just a single unit with a large living room. To spare prospective homeowners and renters these types of experiences, Zillow, the online real estate database company, is working on a free app that will soon allow customers to take 3D house tours, according to Engadget.

Real estate agents with iPhones will use the Zillow Group Home Capture App to upload 360-degree pictures of rooms to Zillow Group, sans special equipment and hosting fees. The photos will then be fused together into a panoramic walk-through, and the virtual tour will be added to a Zillow listing.

About 44 percent of homebuyers and 47 percent of renters search for homes from a distance, according to data from the 2017 Zillow Group Housing Report. 3D tours “will help buyers and renters more easily visualize themselves living in the home, no matter how far away they happened to be,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group’s chief marketing officer, in a news release. “Photos have always been vital to the home search process and now 3D tours can give buyers and renters a realistic understanding of what it would be like to live in the home."

The Zillow Group Home Capture App isn’t quite ready for release, as it’s currently being tested by a focus group in Scottsdale, Arizona. But if you live in Phoenix, you may see it hitting the iTunes store as early as 2018, with a nationwide rollout expected by the end of next year. In the meantime, you can get an online preview of Zillow’s 3D tours here.

[h/t Engadget]

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