Id’s John Carmack to receive lifetime achievement award

The man credited with inventing the modern 3D first-person shooter, John Carmack will receive one of the gaming industry’s top honors at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards next month.

John Carmack has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Game Developers Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, joining the ranks of Sid Meier, Will Wright, and last year’s winner, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. It is one of the most coveted honors in the video game industry. 

Carmack co-founded Id Software in 1991, a company that would go on to create the wildly successful Quake, Doom, and Wolfenstein franchises. In the burgeoning industry in the early 1990s, Id pioneered the technology that is now taken for granted. Wolfenstein 3D was the first title of its kind to incorporate real-time 3D graphics and Doom was the first to make online gaming a viable reality. With its innovative and ambitious approach to PC gaming, Id quickly rose to the top and defined the first-person shooter genre. The company’s products, laced with violence and blood, are also notorious for sparking the Congressional debate that would require a self-regulatory body to oversee and designate extreme content in video games: the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was formed less than one year after the 1993 release of Doom.

Carmack and his colleague John Romero were chronicled in the 2003 book Masters of Doom, one of the few commercially successful biographies about visionaries in the video game industry. Even though Id Software never turned into a huge powerhouse – it still employs only about 100 people – its legacy is essential to the history of the industry.

“John is one of the key figures in the history of video games, and we’re delighted to be giving him the Lifetime Achievement award this year,” said Meggan Scavio, director of the GDC award event.

The ceremony will take place next month in San Francisco, in conjunction with the annual Game Developers Conference.