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John Carmack on taking credit and the moral certitude of 'shooting nothing but demons and zombies'

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John Carmack, id Software co-founder and the creative force behind the Doom, Quake and Rage games, said that he often gets too much credit and that the moral high ground was easier to attain when players' primary targets were of the demon and zombie variety, according to an interview with Ars Technica.

Despite his involvement on the technical side of genre-defining franchises, Carmack is quick to credit the designers and artists.

"The people that do the charming and fun things in the games are the designers and the artists," Carmack said. "While I have been the driving technical force there, it's been unfair for all the other people that worked on the things that you remember from Doom. That's all other people and it's often unfair how much credit I get for things."

While acknowledging that id's most recent game, Rage, included human enemies, Carmack said that there was something simpler about video game violence that focused on clearly delineated, non-human foes.

"One of the things that I was always proud of was when Doom was a Congressional prop," he said. "I always felt that we had a strong moral high ground; there is no moral ambiguity when you are fighting demons and zombies. I did have some qualms when I saw Grand Theft Auto, saying that I would never insinuate that it 'should not' be available to people but it wasn't something that I felt really good about. Rage — we had people in it, which was something jarring. But I liked it better when we were shooting nothing but demons and zombies."