Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

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He's even able to make the thought processes behind technical innovations come alive. In one scene, Kushner describes Carmack's struggle to make a 3-D game that was simple enough to unfold rapidly on a personal computer. From Romero and Carmack's initial meeting at the Louisiana-based Softdisk where they first got each other to their formation of Id Software to their eventual split in the late 90's, Kushner is a careful and skilled chronicler.

Masters of Doom by David Kushner: | odaxerusul.tk: Books

The book's most interesting passages deal with Carmack, a Spock-like character who ends sentences by saying ''mmm'' and seems to view emotions as a strange and foolish waste of time. In the computer world, Carmack is viewed as a deity, a programmer who so impressed Bill Gates that Gates used Doom to show off Windows 95's skill as a gaming platform; he dressed up as one of the game's characters for a promotional video and ran around in a trench coat, shotgun by his side.

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Even if you can't tell parallax scrolling from texture mapping and are unclear what, exactly, is so impressive about Binary Space Partitioning, Kushner's portrait of Carmack is lustrous and gripping. That's no small accomplishment -- Carmack seems at times impenetrable, a guy who ''didn't dream about girls in bikinis.

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Carmack looks up, says he didn't order a pizza and goes back to work. But the fluency with which Kushner tells this story doesn't obscure the fact that he fails to deliver on the second half of his subtitle -- the bit about Doom transforming pop culture. While Kushner correctly doesn't waste much time with Columbine -- Doom was no more responsible for that tragedy than ''The Bachelor'' is for bad blind dates -- he's never able to make a totally convincing case for just how Doom transformed the larger culture.

Unlike earlier popular books about software obsessives, a story about the guys behind a video game empire doesn't have obvious crossover appeal. Without a doubt, Doom and Id Software did transform the video game industry and even, to some degree, the computer industry. And I know -- Americans spend billions of dollars each year on video games. But there's a difference between spending money on a product and reading about its creators.

I imagine this is why Kushner or his publisher tacked on his overarching claim to his title.

Masters of Doom

It doesn't serve him well. That's enough. It doesn't need to pretend to tell the story of a changed world as well.


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Books Id Vid. By David Kushner. New York: Random House. A version of this article appears in print on , Section 7, Page 27 of the National edition with the headline: Id Vid. They transformed popular culture.

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture (Unabridged)

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 produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history— Doom and Quake — until the games they made tore them apart. Attila continued to speak of Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture her as his affianced bride, and to use the relationship as a pretext for aggressions.

Patti and in the duets they Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture electrified the audience, who, not content with encoring each, insisted upon some half-dozen recalls. We regret to announce that Gaana Music Festival stands cancelled due to reasons beyond our control.