Thumbs up for Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner. Biography.
I should preface this review by saying that I do not enjoy video or computer games. Despite significant exposure due to friends/boyfriend, I think my total pleasurable experience can be summed up by (in my youth) two days addicted to Civilization and (much later) sixteen levels of Portal, before I got pissed off at a puzzle and walked away forever. Given this, an intelligent person will ask why I would ever read a book on gaming history. The answer is that a good writer can make anything interesting: and David Kushner is such a writer. He had intimate access to everyone who had been involved with id software, and he took that huge breadth of information and formed it into a fast-paced, novelistic narrative that follows the lives of “the two Johns” (John Carmack and John Romero), who arguably changed the world with their groundbreaking games. Though it’s obviously helpful to have some basic knowledge of gaming and/or computer technology, anyone who is interested in the eternal themes of genius, triumph and failure should take a look at this very readable book.
[John Carmack joined in on the destructive action] after Romero accidentally locked himself in his office. Hearing the pleas, Carmack gave the knob a twist, paused, then deduced the most obvious and immediate solution. “You know,” he said, “I do have a battle-ax in my office.” Carmack had recently paid five thousand dollars for the custom-made weapon – a razor-edged hatchet like something out of Dungeons and Dragons. As the other guys gathered around chanting, “Battle-ax! Battle-ax! Battle-ax!” Carmack chopped Romero free. The splintered door remained in the hall for months.
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