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4.7 out of 5 stars55
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2011
I like books about people and I like books about computers and I like computer games. This has to be the perfect book for me, doesn't it?

First of all, I've lived through the computer evolution described in the book, saw at least some of the games mentioned in the book, either at the time they were released, or soon after and at that time I played a lot of computer games, but never really saw the huge pull of Wolfenstein/Doom/Quake as described in the book. So basically I'm no hardcore gamer out to shoot up the world.

The book is very well written and the story of people doing well in the gold rush of the home computer is right up my street. I congratulate the author on writing in a great style and really going into a lot of detail about those early days.

This book would be great, but I found that I really couldn't empathise with the main protagonists and I became very bored with their struggles. They aren't really people I'd want to meet or to have worked with (this isn't a prerequisite for me to enjoy reading a book, but I became distinctly apathetic towards them). Despite struggling to get through the book, I really lost the interest in their story part of the way through and couldn't make it to the end without just skimming through chunks of the book. I think it eventually came down to not being interested in people who shoved everything aside to write computer games, without too much care for anything else. It didn't really matter to me that they ended up riding around in fancy cars and living in big houses.

I can't see myself recommending this book to anybody I know and it's not because of the author, or the writing, or even the subject matter, but simply not being able to build any empathy for the main protagonists.
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on 24 April 2012
Great book for any gamer. A great insight into id Software and the making of some iconic games (D00M, QUAKE). Recommended for any gamer or anyone interested in the gaming industry.
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on 13 November 2014
Untold and inspiring stories of all the small failures and successes prior to Wolfenstein all the way through to some insider views into the competition with epic around quake 3.
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on 8 November 2010
Like others have mentioned, this book is very nice, reads easy and for those interested in computers and computer games (_and of course DOOM_) this book is a good choice.
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on 14 August 2014
I liked this book, it was fun to get behind one of companies that I grew up with. I played DOOM in the office with my colleagues so I could really enjoy this book.
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on 27 December 2011
The first part of the book is incredibly good. I just couldnt put the book down.

Second part was a bit of a drag compared to the first, but still very good.
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on 16 December 2015
Great book - really informative, even if you have only a passing interest in the history of Doom and id software this is still really interesting.
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on 31 May 2013
Are you born in 1980s? or do you remember the era of games? then you will most probably enjoy the legenf of id software guys! keep on reading!
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on 21 May 2015
Top book - written in such a readable manner and gives a real insight the guys that created such ground breaking games. Big fan of this work.
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on 23 March 2014
Firstly, the book is very well written, and the author's research is very thorough and impressive. The accounts of some interactions are so detailed that I was suspicious of their accuracy, but the references are cited well, and it seems the author lived through all this so there is no reason to doubt him.

However, the reason I'm giving this 3 stars is the amount of histrionics and drama that is endlessly hashed out. All of the social squabbling that went on within all the companies is given too much air time. I guess it's important to give an account of what actually took place, but it became tiresome after a while, it was like reading some kind of computer-nerd soap opera.

I wanted to hear more about the game design process, more on how the games were made and why they were so groundbreaking. These details are discussed, though sometimes in fairly vague terms. The author is good at describing some processes in quite broad analogies, though doesn't delve into the nitty gritty. This may have been my mistake in interpreting the target audience, but I think most of the readers could have handled a more in-depth analysis.

Other parts of the book were very entertaining, and there are great account of the history of computer games from the very start, its emergence as a huge industry, and discussions about morality in video games and competitive gaming. You also do end up with a good understanding of the two Johns' personalities. A very enjoyable read, but like I said, too many accounts of petty arguments.
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