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Title: Masters of Doom
Author: David Kushner
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
A Quick and Dirty Biography of John Romero and John Carmack, the Co-Creators of ID Software, which gave us Doom and Quake.
Overall, I’d say this was a pretty lackluster book. Serious issues were quickly gone over, motivations and thoughts barely sketched out, no footnotes, quotes or anything of substance.
However, it brought such a dose of Nostalgia that I practically felt like a kid again! I remember my first computer, a dx2-66, on which I ran DOS 6.22 [not that nasty ol’ 6.20 mind you!] and was the envy of my friends because I’d saved up and bought a cd-rom 4x. Oh man, I was blazing.
I didn’t really play Doom, but was introduced to Doom II: Hell on Earth. It was fantastic. It was everything my young self craved. Guns. Violence against a legitimate target. Being a bad ass hero. Double barreled shotgun. Puzzle solving along aside adrenalin inducing action.
Then Heretic and Hexxen came out, based on Doom’s graphic engine. Medieval Doom with bows and arrows, magic arcane items, more intricate puzzles. And Hexxen with its multi-hub puzzles. It was all awesome.
Then Quake. I remember Quake so well because it required a Pentium 75 and my neighbor had just gotten one and there was no way I was going to be able to afford one for quite some time.
And this book brought back all those memories and feelings. And that is why this was rated so high.
The book itself was about two raging egomaniacs with different strengths who wouldn’t and couldn’t work together or with others. Because of that, they made and lost great people, companies and games.
Kushner tries to end on a happy note, but you know it won’t last because nothing has changed in the John’s lives except their current circumstances.