Jul 29, 2011
Doom creator and industry veteran John Carmack has hit back at accusations that games promote violent tendencies in players, arguing that they're in fact "cathartic" and more likely to reduce aggression.
Speaking in an interview with IndustryGamers, the id Software co-founder explained that he'd never taken the "violence in video games debate" seriously.
"There was an E3 where all that was going on where I was giving interviews and the reporters would start going into their questions, and I wasn't supposed to talk about any of that," he said.
"My wife was there and shed start kicking me when I was about to go, 'Well, I think ' And in the end it didnt matter, it didn't make any impact on things. I never felt threatened by it and it turned out not to matter.
"And I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it's cathartic.
"If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you're probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think its at worst neutral and potentially positive."
That study Carmack is referring to could be a recent report that argued the increase in popularity of video games is partly responsible for the recent drop in the US crime rate.
In related news, a Norwegian retailer today decided to remove 51 games from its shelves in the wake of the horrific Oslo shooting spree last week.
The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was reportedly a keen gamer who apparently considered Modern Warfare 2 a "training-simulation".
id Software's next release is post-apocalyptic shooter Rage, due out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from 7th October.
Mar 10, 2011
Universal wants to make a new DOOM film, despite the first unanimously falling foul of critics and averaging a lowly 34 per cent (Metacritic).
This will be a reboot, What's Playing reports, and Universal is looking for a script that uses stereoscopic 3D to the max. A script? "Here come the demons in stereoscopic 3D!" "Shoot your bullets at them in stereoscopic 3D!"
Apparently Paramount's success with GI Joe rekindled Universal's interest.
The DOOM film, released in 2005, starred famous wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Karl Urban (the evil hitman in Bourne Supremacy and FBI supremo in newer film Red). Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li director Andrzej Bartkowiak put the film together.
Meanwhile, DOOM game creator id Software steadily beavers away on DOOM 4. We haven't seen anything but we've heard plenty, the developer's Todd Hollenshead saying DOOM 4 will "absolutely blow you away".
Mar 3, 2011
John Romero, legendary designer of seminal first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, is turning his attention to a new type of gamer Facebook gamers.
"We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades," the id Software co-founder told Venture Beat.
"Now it's time for the rest of the world. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games."
Romero hopes to achieve his goal through the California-based developer Loot Drop. Its small team plan to publish games for multiple social game publishers.
Loot Drop has funding from social game publisher RockYou, which will publish Romero's first game soon.
But Romero's already tasted sweet success in the social game space with Facebook game Ravenwood Fair, which a whopping 10 million people play every month.
Romero's new role as the designer of the next big social experience is a far cry from the one that made his name.
Romero co-founded id Software with John Carmack, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall, and designed some of the most influential games of all time.
Romero left to start Ion Storm and created the controversial Daikatana. In 1997 he appeared on an advert for the game that said: "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch....Suck it down." That didn't go down well, and some 10 years later Romero apologised to fans for it.
After Ion Storm closed in 2001, Romero formed mobile game developer Monkeystone Games. After leaving that company, he joined Midway Games in 2003. He left two years later, starting MMO developer Slipgate Ironworks, which became the core studio of Gazillion. That didn't work out as planned, either.
Now the 43-year-old has a very different outlook on the creation of videogames, and believes in experiences fuelled by virtual item purchases. "The game industry is dropping down on top of social," Romero said. "We don't have a view of strip mining the players for cash. When a player gives you money, you want them to feel good about giving you that money."
Romero will launch four Loot Drop games this year, to be published and marketed by other companies.