'Doom' Programmer John Carmack Says Games Industry Doesn't Need Laws Against Crunch

Doom programmer and game industry legend John Carmack recently went on Joe Rogan’s podcast, a show downloaded by millions each month and a favored space for men to launder bad ideas. The pair talked about judo training, the future of virtual reality, the magnificence of space rockets (which Carmack has designed), and labor in the video game industry. Rogan asked about the long hours developers work to ship a game, often under brutal time constraints, which are known in the industry as "crunch."


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5b5a/doom-programmer-john-carmack-says-games-industry-doesnt-need-laws-against-crunch

GO BACK TO YOUR PORN, OLD MAN

I’m more annoyed that Carmack doesn’t even seem willing to choose a stance on any of it. He’s so far out of the industry now that he can’t even be bothered to use some basic human empathy to try and understand what union movements have been saying. His quotes reek of “The problems are bad, but the causes…are good.”

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There are some people who should never, ever be asked for an opinion outside of their narrow area of expertise.

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The guy has never had a boss, I don’t care much about his opinion.

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Reading through some of his opinions, it just sounds like he believes that devs have to sacrifice their health and sanity to make amazing games, and any other way is not possible. Im pretty certain Carmack spent his days as a programmer, always on crunch because he wanted to make Doom the best game he could, so Im not suprised his view on this would be so narrow.

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I can’t tell if this is the fallacy of the self-made man, the puritan hard work myth, some sort of video-games exceptionalism, or all of the above?

Really sloppy thinking, either way.

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Worth pointing out that most of the founders of id kind of hate the guy. Carmack is a huge knob in every respect. He’s amazing at engineering and programming, but he is the absolute worst when it comes to people or even having a basic understanding of what being a human being is.

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“I think this thing is good!” - man who got wealthy from thing.

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This is a really good example of the classic “this is how I did it, I think everyone else should go through what I did” sentiment

It’s so shortsighted to think like this and not realize that hey, how you did it probably fucking sucked for you. There are things that could be done so people don’t have to deal with what you did!

Very tired of these kind of takes, especially in the political environment of 2019

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More like “Old man gives confused shrug at cloud”

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It’s sad that he may realize that he’s been privileged but not actually think about it further than that. Lots of people can work hard for something they’re passionate about, but there’s both the problem with “passion” being used as a bludgeon to force people to work harder, Carmack’s additional privilege in mostly having been a direct recipient of benefits from his work, plus having enough clout to pick and choose his work to match his passions.

That he isn’t willing to see how crunch affects people outside of his circumstances is sad, but what I’ve come to expect from him and most other technocrats.

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This makes my brain hurt. I read it and my brain was just like “cool, cool, cool, cool man, cool. you totally understand normal people.”

Yes he worked wild hours to make doom and get rich, that’s great. That’s not what happens when you’re just a person who works somewhere. When you work a zillion hours you get burned out and very rarely get any improved compensation. Even if you’re lucky enough to get overtime pay you are really still not making that much extra.

I recently overheard a Partner at the firm I work at say “… well I donate a lot of my own time every week” meaning he doesn’t bill the company for all the hours he works. That makes sense for him because he has an ownership stake so that labour comes back around to him whenever they get their super secret owner dollars a few times a year. If you have skin in the game you can work longer and I am sure it feels different. If I owned my own business I am sure I would work way more than I do now and probably not worry about it. That’s just not life for most people.

It makes me crazy to hear these arguments over and over again.

Also props to the author for the line “a favored space for men to launder bad ideas.” that is gold.

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