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Old 05-05-2003, 10:59 AM   #1
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Masters of Doom: the impact on pop culture

Masters of Doom by David Kushner (hes written for nytimes, rolling stone, wired and egm) has recently come out with a book on the social history of romero and carmack, talking about Doom in specific and video games in general.

The copy summary is:

"Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history?Doom and Quake?until the games they made tore them apart.
Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry?s greatest story, written by one of the medium?s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry?a powerful and compassionate account of what it?s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative."

I havent had a chance to read it, but what interested me was the claim that doom has had a large and "formulative impact on our culture"

So what do people think, has the impact of Doom been felt not just in the video/computer game world, but beyond that as well?
now with infinite less hyperbole!
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:17 AM   #2
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I think the attention doom got by non-gamers was what gave it potential to be a "formulative impact on our culture".

The pinacle of that attention was when they played doom on an episode of ER (then was a top 5 tv show). That was the first time I ever remember seeing such a mainstream show (and mainstream audience) actually discuss and play video games.

I can see the whole connection with doom and the sex/drugs/rock and roll with doom as well (well probably without the drugs/rock and roll connection ahah). Like how Romero married Stevie Case, and got a lambourgini. Gaming had never seen that kind of money or "coolness" before.
Romero also follows the classic rock and roll symptom of fame, by crashing long and hard (daikitana, near bankrupsy).
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:33 AM   #3
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I just ordered this book on Amazon earlier today. Kushner just wrote the, "Meet Thy Doom" article in Wired. Loved the article and hope that the book is more of the same. Carmack and Romero have definately lived some interesting lives. Masters of Doom and Return to Castle Wolfenstein(XB, PS2) both come out tommorow(May 7th). Hmmm...wonder if it was planned that way?

Doom and Mortal Kombat got politicians talking about video games. Now we have the ESRB because of censorship jerks like Joe Liberman. Thank your lucky gaming stars that Liberman and Tipper Gore, the censorship king and queen, didn't get into the Oval Office. If it was up to those two jerks, the gov't. would control gaming content.
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:20 AM   #4
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Originally posted by mackensie
Like how Romero married Stevie Case, and got a lambourgini. Gaming had never seen that kind of money or "coolness" before.
Romero also follows the classic rock and roll symptom of fame, by crashing long and hard (daikitana, near bankrupsy).
I remeber the eBay auction Romero put up for his Lamborghini. It was amusing, in a total Schadenfreude kinda way. I have no compassion for the ass, he thought he was a genius and the best thing since sliced bread. Pretentious, arrogant, self-righteous, he certainly smelt the coffee when Eidos fired his ass after the huge Daikatana flop. Carmack, on the other hand, is the way a designer god should be. Tight lipped and low-key.

I can only think of one other designer I loathe more than Romero, and that is Mr. Derek "I have a PhD" Smart of the buggy Battlecruiser fame.
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