From Masters of Doom author David Kushner comes Prepare to Meet Thy Doom, a compilation of true gaming stories covering many facets of America's biggest entertainment business: the video game industry. In addition to more than a dozen fascinating tales of game creation, play, business, and controversy, Prepare to Meet Thy Doom follows up on Kushner's previous best seller, Masters of Doom, with a long-awaited update on id Software founders John Romero and John Carmack.
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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.
Wheaton's voice talent was superb as always, but the content wasn't original, mostly recycled from other books/articles the Author had published.
I thought I was buying a book on Doom and the rise of ID software. That one is my bad. It's in reality just a collection of articles. The last section of the book focuses on Grand Theft Auto. Performance is good as always from wheaton.
Tells the stories of multiple games and companies over the years, good book length also.
Yes! Will Wheaton is both an Excellent narrator/voice actor and has lived through so much of the personal computer history's beginning that we can really relate to him.
Great history of game developers and the companies they built and how it changed the video gaming landscape forever. These stories recount how several of the more popular game titles and gaming genres got started as well as how game developers get to dictate the direction of the business rather than corporate pencil pushers. Read it - you not regret it.
David Kushner's collected articles are entertaining bite sized morsels of videogame recollections, but after the superb first helping of Masters of Doom, this collection only leaves you feeling bloated. I could have probably stomached it if there had been some updates or better pacing, but I was left hanging on only by Wil Wheaton's excellent narration.
Gripping listening, very interesting if you're into video games. But the chess article feels kinda inappropriate, style-wise, it makes uncomfortable listening.
"A tiny Doom update"
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.
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