Another December, another ridiculously named event here at Midnight Resistance. This time, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest, most influential “videogames of all time - DOOM.
Most gamers remember the first time they played Doom. For a lot of us, Doom once represented the absolute cutting edge of technology. One of the most impressive things we’d ever laid eyes on. Here we are, twenty years later, and I can play it on a phone I no longer use because I consider it to be ‘rubbish’. We are living in a shit Blade Runner, I tell you.
Over the coming month, we will be running regular content from basically anyone who wants to contribute something about Doom - written articles, imagery, audio, actual games - basically anything Doom is fair game. We’ve got some interesting stuff in mind, and all things going well you’ll get to see it sometime during the next 30 days.
I was sent the first part last night, by one time podcast guest Ross Foubister, and when reading it realised it actually made for a great introduction to DOOMCEMBER. A little foreword to the event. Here’s what he had to say about iD Software’s legendary title.
“I was a kid when Doom came out. A fucking idiot of a boy. To me, a console was judged by its version of Doom. It was the reason one system was great and another was shit. Did you see SNES Doom? A joke. 32X Doom - Pretty good. Saturn Doom - There wasn’t a Saturn Doom. Closest thing you’d get was Exhumed. What the fuck was that about? Fucking mummies or some shit. Fuck the Saturn.
I’ve since learned that Doom was a terrible way to judge a console, but it’s what got me to accept that we were getting a PlayStation instead of a Saturn, and eventually, what made me think the Gameboy Advance would be amazing. It wasn’t a game I had much direct contact with for a long time, but it was a game that had a definite impact on my childhood. It was a game you’d jump at the TV to see when it appeared on Tomorrow’s World or that CBBC Bad Influence rip-off nobody remembers. It was a game with blood and demons and chainsaws and a gun that alluded to the word “fuck”.
By the time we got a PC that was good enough to play Doom, we didn’t get Doom. It was dated and passé. We got Duke Nukem 3D, and it was everything I wanted from Doom. And some things I was probably too young for. Never mind. You got fucking jetpacks and stuff. Doom was an increasingly distant and irrelevant memory.
I didn’t really get into Doom until I eventually got the Gameboy Advance version with my Christmas money one year (alongside Final Fight One and Sum 41’s “All Killer, No Filler” on CD), but even without my own copy of the game. It’s there that it became relevant again. Doom was a game I could play late into the night, angling a terrible screen into the glare of my bedside lamp. That atmosphere is what set it apart. Duke Nukem 3D was an obnoxiously bullheaded thing. Doom was paranoid and tense. You were empowered by the big weapons and loud noises, but you only appreciated the damage you could do to the enemies by seeing how terrifying these things were when you were defenceless.
Doom is known as an adolescent macho gorefest, but it’s how the game frames those moments that make it great. It’s classic sci-fi horror, but if something scares you, you can punch it to death.”
WELCOME TO YOUR DOOMCEMBER.