Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future 
Stevie Case vs. the World: A Pioneering Gamer Opens Up About Industry Sexism
This post is part of a longform project I’m serializing exclusively in my newsletter, Disruptor. It’s a follow-up to my first book, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Built an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, and it’s called Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future. You can find the table of contents here.
Just about one year ago, I started this longform project, Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future here in my newsletter, Disruptor. It was meant to be a follow-up to my first book, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Built an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. So much has happened in technology and gaming culture since the book came out nearly 20 years ago. It felt like a good time to both catch up with some of the players I wrote about in Masters of Doom, and explore how some of their earlier ideas and innovations have panned out today. I spoke with Doom and Quake co-creator John Carmack about the future of artificial general intelligence. Co-creator John Romero, and I discussed the metaverse. I traced the evolution of eSports, AI, and Augmented Reality. Finally, I looked at how gamers are trying to diversify their playing field.
Today, it’s all coming full circle with my final post for Masters of Disruption. It’s a story of mine that just came out in Vanity Fair, and it’s called “Stevie Case vs. the World: A Pioneering Gamer Opens Up About Industry Sexism.”
I first met Stevie while writing a feature about “the dawn of cybersports” for Spin in 1996. She also figured prominently in Masters of Doom. While interviewing Carmack, Romero, and others for my newsletter, I reconnected with Stevie as well. We hadn’t spoken for years. I knew she’d done really well in Silicon Valley since leaving the game industry, but not much beyond that. When we started talking about Gamergate and the recent sexual harassment cases at Activision, I asked her if she’d had any similar struggles that maybe she hadn’t spoken about before - including with me for Masters of Doom. Sure enough she had stories to share, it had just taken her decades to feel ready to speak out. For the past several months, I’ve been reporting this feature about her for Vanity Fair. It’s not one I expected to write, and it made me look back at those early years of first person shooters in a new light.
I hope you enjoyed reading Masters of Disruption. I’ll be continuing to share other stories and dispatches here in my newsletter. You can get them for free by subscribing below. Thanks for reading!