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For other authors named David Kushner, see the disambiguation page.

13+ Works 1,617 Members 52 Reviews

About the Author

David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author. His books include Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, Jacked, Rise of the Dungeon Master (with Koren Shadmi), and Alligator Candy, which was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2016. A contributing editor of Rolling show more Stone and Outside, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, New York, and Esquire, and has taught at Princeton and New York Universities. show less

Works by David Kushner

Associated Works

The Best American Crime Reporting 2010 (2011) — Contributor — 57 copies
Playboy Magazine ~ July/August 2012 (Jenny McCarthy) (2012) — Contributor — 4 copies


Common Knowledge




This was OK, I guess. I enjoy re-reading accounts of 90s and 80s technology movements, and startups because I lived through most of it, moderately close to many of the front-lines, and nostalgia can be compelling. This also makes me a bit reflexively over-sensitive to inaccuracy or editorialising, or lack of any real feel for technology on the part of the author. Often this genre of books aren't even terrifically well written, or even that well researched. I would say this one is slightly above par - it captures the narrative and the sense of the times. It does a fairly good job of communicating the paradigm breaking technological innovations that the id team brought to PC games and graphics programming during their glory years. I always enjoy NeXT paraphenalia, and NeXTSTEP was crucial to the id development methodology, so it's good to see that getting a nod and a walk-on. I think I usually end up scoring these books mostly by whether I learned anything new. I suppose I did, but it is mostly that the id founding team all seem to be really unpleasant people, which is a bit of a disappointment.… (more)
colinstrickland | 32 other reviews | Feb 12, 2024 |
A fantastic reportage by David Kushner on the creators of Doom and Wolf 3D. Gives a peek into the lives of the two Johns who created many memorable video games. Will Wheaton was simply superb in his narration.

I still worry a bit about the narrative fallacy. You can get an impression that just these two guys created a revolution (along with people at id Software) alone. It might be true but the skeptic in me still refuses to believe. I somehow missed the culture / social context of other development that happened during that era, which led to the revolution. Remember, we know Edison as the inventor of the light bulb but a detailed examination of the history will say the otherwise. But anyway, this is just a nitpick, in such an excellent writing.

(Originally published at http://santhoshguru.com/2018/03/18/masters-of-doom/)
… (more)
Santhosh_Guru | 32 other reviews | Oct 19, 2023 |
The writing isn't anything incredible, but the subject is absolutely fascinating. Long live id.
RyneAndal | 32 other reviews | Jul 12, 2023 |
There is a lot of goofy dramatization in a framing sequence set in a surreal video game environment, but this remains a fun and informative history of the professional careers of and rivalry between a buttoned-down video game engineer, Ralph Baer, and the roguish founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell.

The light tone helps one fly past low-key corporate shenanigans and patent infringement lawsuits, keeping focus on two intriguing men and their very different approaches to life and work.
villemezbrown | Jul 7, 2023 |



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