CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

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Calebjross
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CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Calebjross » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:06 am

Share your thoughts about the Cartridge Club Book Club book for June/July/August 2018 Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Masters-Doom-Cre ... 0812972155

About the book:
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 produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake— until the games they made tore them apart. 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.
Last edited by Calebjross on Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Pam » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:51 pm

Nice choice! I just picked it up and will be reading and commenting along.

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Calebjross
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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Calebjross » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:59 pm

TIL that John Cormack went to high school (Shawnee Mission) about 20 minutes from where I live. Neat.

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Round2Gaming » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:40 pm

Calebjross wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:59 pm
TIL that John Cormack went to high school (Shawnee Mission) about 20 minutes from where I live. Neat.
Haha, that's awesome. I really enjoyed this one, and will gladly read through it again. Also, the audio-book is pretty well done if that's more your fancy.

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by MightyQDawg » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:51 pm

I read this one a few years ago. Good choice for CCBC. Enjoy!

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Pam » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:54 pm

I'm about a quarter of the way through this now and I'm really liking it. It's interesting to read about people who really love their work. I've never experienced that, work is always something I've done for money, just hoping that the actual job is something I can stand. It also sounds exhausting though, having that much passion that you can work on something without sleep, food or bathing.

The Apple II is something I know nothing about, so now that the book has reached the Commander Keen/shareware part of history I'm relating to it much more.

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Pam » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:06 pm

Still making my way through this. One part that has stood out to me is the description of the D&D game. As soon as I heard their party (and company) was made up of 4 fighters and thief, I knew trouble was coming.

Also I'm getting a bit tired with the players in this. They're all kinda dicks.

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Calebjross » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:57 am

Hey all, we've decided to extend the reading of Masters of Doom through August, to line up with DOOM 2016 being the September 2018 CC Prime game! This is great news for everyone who wanted to read it. I highly recommend reading it, as it will give you an incredible appreciation for the roots of the game you'll be playing in September.

I just finished the book today. I learned so much. I didn't realize John Carmack is responsible for just about everything we associate with first person shooters today. And the writing is so great. I read a LOT of video game books, and I can say with confidence that Masters of Doom is one of the best.

Read it!

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by Pam » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:51 pm

I forgot to post that I did finish this a while back. I thought it was great! A good combo of gaming history, personal drama and struggle, and success story. The writing made it very readable.

I have a question for everyone (trying to get a little discussion going):

As you read, did you find yourself siding more with one of the Johns? Were you more interested in the process of moving the tech forward? Or in the idea that gameplay was king? Or did you just long for a 3rd person who was capable of balancing the two?

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Re: CCBC - Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Post by seigiac » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:40 pm

At first, it's kinda hard not to root for Romero. So much passion and drive. As the story progresses, my feelings changed a lot. That initial cheering, transformed into a feeling of being an accomplice. These guys weren't technically doing things in a very honourable way, but as a reader I felt a sort of guilty pleasure. After that, regardless of what was going on, I became attached of the group and the ultimate fallout between romero and carmack was painful but completely understandable, given their personalities and motivations.

About the tech vs design question. This one is a hard one. I think gameplay is king, personally, but video games are tech in its core, the rest is just an illusion, so you need to have innovation across the board to push things forward.

It would've been nice for them to stay together for longer than they did, the formula was good. A third party with enough power to balance would've been nice, but the story is a rock and roll story, and it's a bit tragic as I guess it needed to be in order to be just that.
Last edited by seigiac on Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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