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Gamers Are Bidding On This Destroyed Mac Keyboard. Here's Why

What could possibly make gamers bid hundreds of dollars on a ruined Mac keyboard? Turns out, it's all about who that keyboard belongs to. Over on eBay, game enthusiasts are bidding to win. As of this writing, there are 22 hours left to bid on the keyboard — and the price has already risen past $250.

Seller the_romero doesn't claim to be developer John Romero specifically, but a quick look at Twitter verifies that the seller is one and the same. Romero claims that he's doing a bit of Spring cleaning in January and decided to part with the bent keyboard. When one Twitter user asked if the keyboard was destroyed after a qtest.exe match during beta testing for Quake, Romero replied that the incident likely happened before that.

John Romero is one of the developers behind Quake, one of the most successful first person shooters from the 1990s. Romero also co-created the Doom and Wolfenstein franchises with id Software, a developer he co-founded and worked with for years. With his place in gaming history secured, fans might want a little piece of Romero's personal technology cache.

Quake arrived at a different time in video game history, but that hasn't stopped Romero from voicing his opinion on what FPS games should look like today. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Romeo bemoaned the amount of items included in most contemporary FPS games. According to Romero, game-breaking weapons simply weren't available in Doom. Romero explains, "For Doom, it was really important that every time you got a new weapon, it never made any previous weapons useless. That was a critical design characteristic." Unfortunately, Romero doesn't feel the same about his keyboards.

In the description of the keyboard, Romero describes it lovingly, stating, "This was a really nice Mac keyboard – until a certain game of Deathmatch in Quake 1. I doubt I even reached the end of the match before this happened. I just went complete power ape on it." Romero then proudly adds, "The last keyboard I destroyed is now in a videogame [sic] museum. If you want this one, I can sign it if desired." In other words, this listing offers gamers a rare chance to own a piece of video game history: a keyboard that Romero once used to do his daily work, and play Quake. 

Romero holds the distinction of crafting some of the most popular games of the 90s with a small team and limited resources, but he also has a few dark marks on his record as well, including the disastrous Daikatana. Romero's studio just released Empire of Sin, which received lackluster reviews from critics.