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    John Carmack
      Forget about his Ferraris and opulent lifestyle. John Carmack's revolutionary 3-D engines for id Software have forged a whole new genre in computer gaming. The idea of placing the player directly in the thick of the action, inside the headspace of the protagonist, would seem a simple enough idea, and it is. But computer gaming and id needed someone to realize this concept. Sure enough, Carmack came through with the Wolfenstein 3D engine, and the term "first-person shooter" was born. From then on, Carmack's talent became more refined as did the genre. Soon thereafter he created an even stronger 3-D engine that enhanced the realism and the immersion into the morbid dungeons of id's smash game Doom.

In the following years, just about every other game company had a "Doom-clone" for sale (as the genre would become known). Some of these, such as Duke Nukem 3D, proved to be noteworthy entries into the genre. But they were all put to shame with Quake, and moreover, with the Quake engine. The first game to create a true 3-D experience for the player, Quake allowed a player to aim his or her view up or down, while retaining correct perspective. As the computer gaming world struggled to find a concise and usable name for the genre - first-person shooter, 3-D shooter, and others were bandied about - what eventually stuck was "Quake Killers," which also describes the main objective of these games.

And computer gaming's most influential person of all time is...

 
   
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