John Carmack Stole Computers (And Gaming Needs More People Like Him)

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.

People are always saying games need more punch. More weight behind them, more diversity, that they need to be more than just guns and cars.

But look at the people who make them. They are almost exclusively men (at least in major creative positions), and almost exclusively clean-cut nerds. I mean, Carmack's case really stands out to me amongst game designers, and it's a fairly minor thing. It's not like he shot a man in the face.

Now 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 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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