THE DOOM THAT CAME TO...
In the beginning of 3D first person shooters, there was sex. And there were many game sperm that swam toward that console and PC, but the one that impregnated it (try and keep up with the metaphors here, yeah?) was Wolfenstein 3D in 1992. And the fruit of that sex was DOOM on December 10, 1993. it couldn't have come at a better time. In 1993, Senators Joe Lieberman and Herb Kohl were running Senate investigations into video games, fraudulently trying to convince people that violent videogames led to violent kids. DOOM came out and no game had ever been as violent as this!
Back then, DOOM was as real as a computer game got. Other games, most notably Rise of the Triad, were more violent in terms of kills, but DOOM was more violent in terms of GORY kills! And it was all okay because you were only killing demonic hordes of hell that were trying to kill you.
That and your fellow soldiers that had been somehow transformed. You had to kill them too as they stumbled around and moaned in apparent pain and even sometimes got in fights with each other. Subsequent levels were dressed in human flesh up to and including human faces that seemed to scream from the walls upon which they were dressed. Whatever alien intelligence was behind the mystery of DOOM, it turned biological creatures into maddened cyborgs.
There was a great and hellish imagination behind DOOM making it a solid Horror tale in its own right. This is a game that should win a Bram Stoker Award. No other game has ever come close in achievement to it.
The first episode with nine levels, like WOLFENSTEIN, was given away for free (shareware) and fans went bananas waiting for the full game to finally come out - which happened at first in 1994. That was the year that Internet tracking companies realized that the shareware Doom was installed on 10 million computers world wide (kinda scary that they could track that back then, huh? Imagine what they can track now!). DOOM was highly controversial for pretty much the entire damn game. But in any situation, some things are more controversial than others. So in 1995 the game manufacturer, id, released The ULTIMATE DOOM, with three of the promised episodes plus a special fourth. This one was bug free and some of the level maps were changed for especially sensitive people.
In 1995, DOOM and DOOM II offended a lot of people, most notably Senators Herb Kohl, Phil Talmadge, Joe Lieberman, first lady Hillary Clinton, and Vice-President Al Gore* (who helped set up The National Institute on Media and the Family, a Watch-Dog committee similar to the PMRC Al's wife Tipper co-founded years earlier and for the same reasons). And like WOLFENSTEIN before it, part of its attraction was its controversy. DOOM was hardcore and it's partly because of DOOM that the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) even exists.
Violence is bad, m'kay?
I can see why young children, who are by virtue of life experience impressionable, shouldn't play ultra-violent scary games like DOOM (there is no solid research to support my idea, it's just my opinion). But to say that such games should be banned by law from existing at all is ridiculous. Many of the behavioral tests and how they measure a violent response, have been questionable. In their book, Grand Theft Childhood, authors Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olson noted that one research on video game violence was based on a horn test. College students were told to hold a horn down on a table. Aggressive, violent behavior was determined by how long a student was willing to hold the horn down before and after playing a violent videogame (?)
Another behavior test based increased violent behavior on how well the children played physical sports afterwards. The better they played, the more violent they were, as determined by the researchers.
The largest, longest, most complete research has shown that the level of real-life aggression in a game player decreases with age. Inexperienced children tend to be more aggressive (not necessarily violent) after playing violent video games, older teens and adults do not. When showing their graphs and pie charts, politicians tend to leave out these relevant facts.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging brain scan research is even murkier. Where MRI brain scans are concerned, children are AS likely to be aggressively stimulated in the same specific areas of the brain by playing a particularly violent video game, as they are by watching Rocky.
*Clinton, Lieberman, and Senator Evan Bayh continue to push censorship of videogames based on the idea that they promote and encourage violence among the players.
Science articles on various research that debunks the correlation between videogame violence and real-life violence/crime:
No strong link seen between violent video games and aggression
Reality Check on Video Game Violence
Action Video Games Improve Vision, New Research Shows
Is Technology Producing A Decline In Critical Thinking And Analysis?
No real evidence for TV violence causing real violence
Questioning the Link Between Video Games and Violence
Still, those were early days of Internet connections when 28k was considered fast and some home users were getting onboard with 53k, marketed as 56k. One of the best things about DOOM was it's playability. After you had thoroughly played through the whole game, you could fight in multi-player and Deathmatches against other players on the ethernet aka around the world! Thing was, you needed a fast internet connection and business magazines actually reported a drop in productivity due to employees playing deathmatch Doom on the corporate T1 lines on company time. Companies and Universities actually had to create new rules and policies forbidding the play of DOOM! Microsoft noticed the craze spreading at their company and likened it to a religious phenomenon.
In 1995, Microsoft was FORCED to create a specific port for DOOM (which at that time ran only on DOS) in order to sell its Windows 95 operating system.
In 1994 came
DOOM II, virtually the same game but with more levels and improved gameplay. The improved (and self-censored) ULTIMATE DOOM came out in 1995, followed by FINAL DOOM in 1996. There has never been anything like DOOM since. Not it's popular but lesser sibling QUAKE. QUAKE looked better, moved better, everybody thought it was cute, but DOOM remained the asskicker. QUAKE was fun for fighting other players, kinda empty by yourself. The monsters were fast and deadly, yeah, but they weren't scary and everything was just so beige. Varmints just jumped and ran at you. That was pretty much it. They were merely something to be defeated to get you to the next level. They were nothing compared to the bizarre, mechanical and satanic monstrosities of DOOM. Which is why QUAKE players were more interested in just fighting each other.
DOOM took the supernatural out of hell and made it a place of byzantine science fiction Horror: the way Mary S. Wollstonecraft intended.
There were significantly improved versions of DOOM, like DOOM 3, so it would look pretty like QUAKE (and not so damn beige!). The graphics and characters were truly awesome for their time, but it was immaterial. All 3D shooters ever since have only built upon DOOM. They've improved on it - in graphics and gameplay - but they've all built on it, and none of them have surpassed it. DOOM remains the one to beat in terms of gameplay and flat out scare-you-shitless.
"Well great freaking history lesson, Feo!" you might say, "But nobody has a version of DOOM that will play on the latest Operating Systems or computers so what's the point of all of this history?"
To paraphrase, those who forget history are DOOMed to repeat it.
I say all of this because, while DOOM is so 1990s, I recently discovered that there is a whole new generation that knows little to nothing about DOOM, other than the impotent movie DOOM, which was written and directed by people who never liked the game (or even played it through!).
And yet, over 15 years later, you can still find aging fan pages dedicated in one way or another to DOOM.
So whoop de shit. What am I leading up to?
DOOM co-creator, John Carmack announced at the 2007 QUAKECon tournament that there could be a DOOM 4.
In May of 2008, it was announced that there would definitely be a DOOM 4. A few screenshots have leaked out and they look unbelievably cool, scary, WICKED!
January 2009, CVG interviews fantasy author, Graham Joyce, who will write the back story for DOOM 4.
April 4, 2009, id CEO, Tom Hollenshead talks up what to expect from DOOM 4. It's not a sequel like DOOM II and it's not a remake like DOOM 3. This time it's Fantasy, not Science Fiction Horror.
So check out these last remaining pages of the original DOOM.
The unimaginative action crapped slogan machine DoomMovie.
Animated Gifs from DOOM.
Back in 1999, Dennis Chao of the University of New Mexico, conceived of Cyberspace as first proposed by SF writer Vernor Vinge in 1981, by using DOOM for Systems Administration. If thou be a computer geek, read Doom as a tool for system administration.
Holy crap they still exist! Hardcore Doom players take their game to a whole new level! Back in the late 1990s, Id Software released their sourcecode for Doom. Why not? It was old and they'd created better with their Quake engine. But now total gaming DOOM geeks have been doing all manner of weird things with it ever since! Check out DOOMWORLD.
And for the FANatics only
And by the way, despite your operating system you can still play the original. Do you really think I'd write all this just to let you down at the end? Hell no!
ready to play DOOM?