Is Masters Of Doom Worth Reading?

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OceanEve

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I've heard an awful lot about this book from time to time, but I've never actually sat down and read it. I was wondering if it was worth reading? I don't have a whole lot of time to read, but after playing some of the new doom I'm more curious to give it a shot.

Also does anyone know of any other good books about the creation or history of video games? Last year I got halfway through "console wars" and put it down. I really disliked it, it felt more like a screenplay with a narrative rather than an account of that era of gaming. Thanks! ^_^

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Justin258

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#2  Edited By Justin258

Masters of Doom is a pretty good book. It does have one problem, though and it's not really the book's fault. Large portions of it felt like they were focused on John Romero, with an occasional mention of Carmack that went something like "...and Carmack kept working on physics and lighting in his office while...".

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Zirilius

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@justin258: I think that was intentional as the stuff Carmack was doing on most of the games is so technical the average reader wouldn't understand the nitty gritty details. I definitely feel its one of the better books regarding the gaming industry and how both it and it's developers changed.

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ShaggE

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Totally worth it. Probably the best book on the subject I've ever read. (admittedly, I haven't read many) The development of Doom is fascinating.

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glots

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I listened to the audio version and it was great.

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Captain_Insano

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It's a fantastic read. My wife really enjoyed it and she has zero interest in video games. If you have even a passing interest in Doom or id I would highly recommend it.

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stackboy

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I read it last year and really enjoyed it.

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TrinketNPinker

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Yes. It's indeed a fine read if you're into game development.

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csl316

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#10  Edited By csl316

Hell yeah, my favorite game book. Aside from the development details and history, it's just a fun story.

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eskimo

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@giantlennonx_x: If you didn't like the storytelling of Console Wars, then I'd say that you'll be pretty turned off by Masters of Doom as well. The book goes a long way in trying to dramatise the events, and it's a bit much some times.

Personally, I loved it, but then again I thought Console Wars was great too. They just seem to capture that specific era of my childhood so well.

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newmoneytrash

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yeah, it's tremendous

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mandude

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It depends on what you want to get out of it. While it does talk about Doom's influence on the gaming/tech industry, it doesn't go into specifics. It's more focused on the culture and personalities of id during their formation and the development of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Doom II, and Quake. It touches on nearly everything, though.

I only bought it last Monday, and even the parts that I'm not necessarily interested in are incredibly readable. Honestly, I'm not sure why it took me so long to get it, especially since I'm a huge fan of Doom.

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Duxa

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One of the best books Ive ever read. One of very few times in my life I couldnt wait to get home so I can continue reading... Finished it in 3 days.

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MightyDuck

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Great book. I got it for Christmas this past year. I finished in 2 days.

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Macka1080

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Yes, yes, and yes. A deep, engaging read into one of the seminal periods of the video game industry.

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The_Tribunal

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One thing that has kept me away is that I heard the author takes a substantial amount of creative license to fill out scenes in the book and create drama. Is that true?

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Trenox

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Its a great and interesting read. Its not always written as well as it could, but the story itself is interesting and the clash of two very different personalities is fascinating, as well as the hubris that went into the Daikatana project. I wouldnt mind watching an adaption of this (instead of a stupid tetris movie).

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Dragon_Puncher

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Still the vest video game book I have ever read.

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hidden81

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Yes.

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pjgut

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#21  Edited By pjgut

@the_tribunal: I read it about a week ago and I'm not entirely sure that there was really that much added drama. At best it boils down to Carmack thinking Romero doesn't work hard enough post Doom but it didn't feel over dramatic.

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viking_funeral

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It's easily one of the better books on video game history.

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mandude

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@the_tribunal: At times the characters feel like 2 dimensional representations of themselves, but unless you worked at id software during that period, it'd be kind of impossible to tell what's been dramatised or not. For whatever dramatisation there may have been, I didn't feel like the details of the story itself suffered for it.

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monkeyking1969

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#24  Edited By monkeyking1969

Books to read for sure: good, well informed, and well written books

Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony Playstation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games
by Reiji Asakura

Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution
by Dean Takahashi

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

The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
by Steven Kent


Books I have not read, but want to read soon:

I Am Error: The Nintendo Family Computer / Entertainment System Platform
by Nathan Altice

The race for a new game machine : creating the chips inside the Xbox 360 & the PlayStation 3
by David Shippy, David



Books to avoid: they are hot garbage

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
by Tom Bissell
A very poorly written and very poorly conceived. It was a pet projects that just went off the rails until he had spent so much time writing he needed to publish to not feel silly.

Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal
by Robbie Bach
No even about XBox at all, just a terrible name for a book that is really about "insane" management ideas. Robbie needed a ghost writer because the book is excruciating to read. I think the publisher INSISTED He put XBox on the titles to make it interesting to nerds. Just a bunch of Silicon Valley drivel.


I have read a few dozen other books, I'm a librarian, so I have access and time. Yet, most books about video game makers, the hardware, and the games are mediocre and unmemorable. However, the above are a good starting list of books to read. Also, truly avoid the ones I saw avoid, they are truly bad.

If you want some good fiction books about tech...
- JPod by Douglas Coupland
-
Microserfsl by Douglas Coupland.
- Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane.
- Halting State by Charles Stross.
- Transmission by Hari Kunzru.