Of course I played Doom. Everyone played Doom. You couldn’t not play Doom. Doom dropped like an atomic bomb on the gaming landscape and forever changed its topology. Even if you somehow didn’t play Doom itself, you almost certainly played a game that Doom inspired, because for a couple of years you couldn’t play anything else.
I didn’t play much of Doom, though. My experience with the previous hot first-person shooter (perhaps the first?), Wolfenstein 3D, was not good. It got me motion sick and headachey in a bad way, and though I liked the game well enough, it wasn’t compelling enough to fight that. Doom had pretty much the same effect for me, for pretty much the same payoff; I just didn’t find the gameplay that interesting, for as novel as it was. If it didn’t come with a side of queasy and a headache, I might have gotten more out of it, but it wasn’t worth it.
Given this, I steered away from most of the FPS-mania of the early-to-mid 90s. I didn’t play Quake, Team Fortress, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and the others. (I also wasn’t interested in playing online against others, something I’m still not very much into, so a lot of these games that were greatly dependent on multiplayer didn’t have any appeal to me.)
I say I avoided FPSes, but that’s not completely true. We’ve already discussed Dark Forces, the Star Wars themed FPS which I did take an interest in, despite it still not being great on my head and gut (I would play it in brief intervals.) And there’s another one that actually precedes Doom that we’ll be discussing in a bit. But the big-name FPSes, the ones that you think of when you think of the big craze, I never played.
Given my relative enjoyment of Dark Forces, it’s possible that my general disinterest in Doom and others was a bit of sour grapes. First, I was disappointed that the role-playing games I enjoyed were almost completely sidelined by this new genre (and another, which we’ll talk about next week), a genre that literally made me physically ill. There was a big revolution going on in gaming and I couldn’t really participate in it. (It also required a pretty top-shelf computer and video card, and by this time mine was starting to show its age.) So it was hard for me to get excited for the new kid.
Much later, FPSes and I would reconcile and come to an agreement. I should probably go back and give things like Half-Life, Deus Ex, and, yes, Doom, a try.