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Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture Paperback – May 11, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,177 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"To my taste, the greatest American myth of cosmogenesis features the maladjusted, antisocial, genius teenage boy who, in the insular laboratory of his own bedroom, invents the universe from scratch. Masters of Doom is a particularly inspired rendition. Dave Kushner chronicles the saga of video game virtuosi Carmack and Romero with terrific brio. This is a page-turning, mythopoeic cyber-soap opera about two glamorous geek geniuses - and it should be read while scarfing down pepperoni pizza and swilling Diet Coke, with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up all the way."
Mark Leyner, author of I Smell Esther Williams

"Masters of Doom is an excellent archetypal tale of hard work and genius being corrupted by fame too young and fortune too fast. I rooted for these guys, was inspired by them, then was disturbed by them, and was fascinated from beginning to end."
Po Bronson, author of The Nudist on the Late Shift

"Like Hackers, David Kushner's Masters of Doom paints a fascinating portrait of visionary coders transforming a previously marginal hobby into a kind of 21st-century art form -- and enraging an entire generation of parents along the way. Kushner tells the story with intelligence and a great sense of pacing. Masters of Doom is as riveting as the games themselves."
Steven Johnson, author of Emergence

"Masters of Doom tells the compelling story of the decade-long showdown between gaming's own real-life dynamic duo, played high above the corridors of Doom in the meta-game of industry and innovation. With the narrative passion of a true aficionado, Kushner reminds us that the Internet was not created to manage stock portfolios but to serve as the ultimate networked entertainment platform. It's all just a game."
Douglas Rushkoff, author of Coercion, Ecstasy Club, and Nothing Sacred

"Are you brainy? Gifted? Deeply alienated? Ever wanted to be a multimillionaire who transformed a major industry? Then Masters of Doom is the book for you!"
Bruce Sterling, author of Tomorrow Now

“Kushner’s mesmerizing tale of the Two Johns moves at a rapid clip . . . describing the twists and turns of fate that led them to team up in creating the most powerful video games of their generation. . . . An exciting combination of biography and technology.”
—USA Today

“Meticulously researched . . . as a ticktock of the creative process and as insight into a powerful medium too often dismissed as kids’ stuff, Masters of Doom blasts its way to a high score.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“[An] extraordinary journey . . . an exhilarating time capsule of a moment in time where anything could happen—and often did. Kushner’s take on this geek uprising is like a breakneck-paced comic book that you can’t put down.”
Newsday

“Kushner’s portrait of Carmack is lustrous and gripping. . . . An impressive and adroit social history.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Terrifically told . . . The storytelling is so fluid, so addictive, that your twitching thumbs keep working the pages.”
—The Washington Post Book World

From the Inside Flap

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.

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0812972155
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780812972153
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0812972153
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.21 x 0.76 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 1,177 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
1,177 global ratings
5 star
81%
4 star
15%
3 star
3%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Top reviews from the United States

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Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Pie Master
4.0 out of 5 stars Must read for those with even a slight interest in gaming history!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 18, 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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Brian Clegg
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone with an interest in the early days of PC games
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2014
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4 people found this helpful
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leaningtower
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia biting in while reading this book (and that's good!)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2016
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Daniel
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, intense and fascinating tale of two gamers who programmed their way to being millionaires...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2015
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JamesClark1991
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Must Read for Gamers of the 90s
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2016
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