John Carmack & John Romero

10 July 1993

John Carmack, John Romero / Id Software, 1993 / USA / Selected by Christopher Grant

“Doom’s” release transformed videogames ins- tantly and irrevocably. John Carmack’s innovative game engine allowed for fast-paced yet visu- ally rich graphics the likes of which gamers had never seen. While introduced by the company’s earlier “Wolfenstein 3D” (1992), “Doom” defined the paradigm for the “first-person-shooter” genre: fast-paced, violent, graphically realistic, and seen from the player’s perspective, which is down the barrel of a firearm. “Doom” also had multiplayer capability, allowing cooperative or competitive group play (the term “deathmatch” was coined by “Doom’s” creators) over a local area network or modem. “Doom” also offered players a novel feature that is now standard fare: the ability for players to modify (aka “mod”) levels or other as- pects of the game and distribute these modifica- tions to others. The ability for the public to modify video games – whether as a form of entertainment, tribute, or critique –has since become an impor- tant part of game companies’ business strategy. “Doom’s” underlying source code was released to the public in 1997, making even deeper levels of modification possible.