John Carmack: Criminal Mastermind (And Apple Fanboy)

They say you learn something new every day. For today? You learn that when he was only 14, id's John Carmack broke into a school to steal some Apple II computers. Apple IIs!


He was arrested, and sentenced to a year's detention in a juvenile home. Now, we don't point this out to somehow shame the man. He's an industry great, it's a matter of public record, and it was decades ago.

No, we point it out because... well, we kinda wish there were more developers like that. Not a criminal, necessarily (which Carmack certainly isn't), just... someone with a little colour to their lives. Hear me out.

An artist - and really, the great developers like Carmack, Miyamoto, and Ken Levine are just that - can in his or her work often only hope to reflect their own experiences and emotions.

Which for video games is a problem, when you consider the vast majority of the "artists" in this business are (Itagaki aside) clean-cut, respectable, sane people.

Look at other mediums. A lot of the world's truly great artists - I'm talking painters, authors, composers, even movie directors - were either messed up, or had messed up things happen to them. Van Gogh had ear trouble. Beethoven was deaf. Caravaggio killed a guy. Woody Allen had... family issues. You get the idea.

Many of them perpetrated, or suffered, terrible acts. But history doesn't judge an artist on their behaviour. They judge them on their works.

Maybe if this industry was more like other mediums, and had more people in creative positions who'd spent a night in a cell, or fled from a war, or faced a lifetime of persecution (not that I'd wish that sort of thing on people just to get a better video game), or were just straight-up crazy (again, Itagaki aside), we'd get that real diversity of content that people always seem to be clamouring for.



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