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David Kushner starts off by billing "Prepare to Meet Thy Doom" as the successor to "Masters of Doom", a rambunctious tale of the formatin and success of id Software while following both John Romero and John Carmack lives in and out of gaming. In reality, Prepare to Meet Thy Doom is a collection of stories David Kushner wrote many non-gaming A-list magazines such as Rolling Stone / Wired / Playboy / Salon / Blendr / Spectrum. While both Johns kick off the story with "Where are they now?" pieces, the rest of the book is a mish-mash of unrelated tales over the past decade. Stories aren't limited to video games, as it diverges to the world of DnD and even chess. The book's high point is when David Kushner gushes over Atari founder, and original anti-establishment digital bad boy, Nolan Bushnell, who put the roof up on the start up culture. Kushner's excitement is palpable, and makes for a better read, and better researched than the few other books in the same vain like Jeff Ryan's "Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America".
There's also a few interesting stories on distant memories like Second Life, which has been nearly 3-4 years since I recall any major media discussing it, the ambitious and somewhat forgotten Spore and once activist lawyer (now disbarred) Jack Thompson. There's even a story dedicate to a flo like AFP which sent me to google as it bombed so badly that I had never heard of it. The end of book trails after Rock Star, and due to the nature of reprinting separate articles for separate publications, finds a few steps retraced.
It's an interesting retrospective through of-the-time case studies but really could use follow ups for "at the time of publication" as most (if not all articles) collected are freely available online. I enjoyed the stories but would have liked to see Kushner's lens focused again on another set of digital misfits.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Not too original here. The first chapters in the book are simply awesome. There's inspiring stories of D&D, Atari, Flappy Bird,..
It's getting worse at some point. The essays become loosely related to games, short and leave the cut off in the middle aftertaste, like the one of a cancelled TV show. They hype up games that eventually failed to deliver on their ambitious promises (original texts being written before the release) and thus I felt questioning more and more on how true is what I hear, whether something was actually as great as the author portrayed it or was simply a marketing stunt. The last few chapters focus heavily on the GTA and the controversy around it.
Nevertheless, some stories in this collection do rock. They made the listening worthwhile.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you're interested in this after listening to Masters of Doom, then you may be disappointed. The book is a collection of articles by David Kushner on various gaming related topics.
The first couple are John Carmack / Romero based, but they are repetitive and if you want a more complete update on what they have been up to since the first book, read their Wikipedia entries. There is the odd tidbit, but it is a bit thin.
The other articles are American centric. They are interesting, like the history of Dungeon and Dragons and Atari, but I wouldn't have gone out of my way to learn about them otherwise. Kushner's style of writing also repeats itself due to its format of repackaged articles, which did grate for me. It's not as tightly edited as a proper book would be. Also because these are articles, they miss the context of dates. They all read as happening recently, but that isn't the case since they are spread over the last ten years.
Wil Wheaton's reading is good, as always, it's just the book title is misleading for Doom fans expecting a sequel to Masters of Doom.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
but not as great as masters of doom I was looking for more of what made masters so great, instead it was a bunch of controversies I was not remotely interested in I was more so wanting to hear about 3d realms, bungie, monolith and other grateful development teams that put so much effort and creativity into the game world.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great stories and wonderful narration. I just wish he would say the date each story was written before starting them. It got VERY confusing.