Boot Disk: Doom

As the typical five-year lifespan of a console winds toward its conclusion, gamers inevitably pose questions of backwards-compatibility. They wonder, as is only logical, whether the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars they invested in their gaming library will be relevant when the new generation of hardware emerges. Sometimes, as with the Xbox 360's update-oriented system, most last-gen titles will still function properly. Other times, as with the PlayStation 3's confusing array of SKUs, the answer alternates between "maybe," "hopefully," and "who knows"?

Despite occasional hardware hiccups and OS woes, the PC platform has managed to retain its awe-inspiring catalogue of titles, thanks in large part to an active community of uber-geeks intent on doing whatever must be done to ensure that disk-based classics don't fade into obscurity.

Welcome to Boot Disk, a weekly column dedicated to covering PC gaming's impressive and length history. Every Tuesday, Big Download will examine one of the platform's many titles that still lend themselves to eminence five, 10, 15, or decades' worth of years later. This week's Boot Disk features a look at Doom, the first-person shooter that bathed the industry in the gratifying hell-fire of deathmatch, mods, and LAN parties.

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