Saturday, August 20, 2011

Masters of Doom

I just finished Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture The author David Kushner does a great job of combining his many years of research and interviews into a great book. Besides being extremely entertaining and full of insightful and interesting tidbits about two famous game makers, this book made me smile and remember back to my early video game days. When John Carmack and John Romero were brainstorming, creating, and delivering their massive hits like Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom, I was busy playing and modifying them. I don't think I ever grew into a fanatic and played them nonstop for hours every day like some fans, but looking back I can absolutely remember the great time I had with all their games.

These guys were pioneers. I was born in early 1980, so I was the perfect age to witness the advancement in PC graphics and game genres and game design that id Software created and perfected. They were the main reason for a renaissance and rebirth in the PC gaming industry. They made fun, inventive games and showcased outstanding graphics that no one else had figured out how to do at the time. This book is an easy-going read that was hard to put down. Absolutely a must read story for anyone interested in PC games, programming, and game companies.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fun Book for Adults - Five Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth

I found a book at my local library that I had never heard of before, but the title sounded neat and the cover art was I checked it out. Once at my house, I started to read this book called 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) and couldn't put it down until I was finished. It is hilarious, edgy, and intelligent - but only for adults. Kids shouldn't read this book as it is definitely intended for mature audiences. The funny drawings and dialogue combined with interesting historical and scientific facts makes this book hard to put down. It is tough to describe the book. Essentially, the book is like Seinfeld - it is about "nothing" and "everything" at the same time. The comic titled "Why it's better to pretend you don't know anything about computers" is especially dear to my heart and hauntingly true to life. This is one of those books where you wish you had written it. The author doesn't know it, but he and I are kindred spirits.