Prepare to Meet Thy Doom: And Other True Gaming Stories
© 2015 David Kushner
~ 5 hours, read by Wil Wheaton
Masters of Doom enthralled me, covering the genesis of modern PC gaming through its history of id software. Prepare to Meet Thy Doom is an oddly-titled follow-up that is less a work in itself, and more a collection of articles that are generally related to PC gaming. I say generally, because there’s pieces here on competitive chess, NeoPets, and bot-augmented online poker. The more kosher offerings include a follow-up piece on id software, as well as articles on Spore, Second Life, and the GTA series. Drawing on interviews with designer icons like John Romero and Will Wright, Kushner’s pieces often dwell on how PC games are continuing to push the developmental envelope – becoming more complex forms of entertainment, as they allow players to make their own experience. In Spore, for instance, there’s no static content to begin with: every bit of the animal and civilization that evolve are cobbled and produced by the player.. Rockstar Games is particularly notable for innovation: its latest games, GTA V and Red Dead Redemption II, are less games than ten hour cinematic experiences in which the player is driving the story. The game’s lead character grows throughout, shaped by the player’s decisions.
Those who are passionate PC gamers may find this of interest. Given that I effectively got it for free (Audible promotion), I can scarcely complain about it – especially since Wil Wheaton’s narration was, as usual, excellent. The narrator is largely responsible for my having experienced this book at all, given its slimness and the reviews griping about the lack of more substantial content. As much as I liked Masters of Doom, Prepare To Meet isn’t a stellar followup.