I think in the end 'those people' were ignorant but not stupid and that it's a pity this is the case.
In the end Commander Keen won out, in a sense. Technical superiority won out. Games like Duke 1 fell to the wayside (Followed by Keen five minutes after everyone saw Doom and went 'Well that's enough 2D platforming!') This trend has continued up to today, only recently has a niche for games that are capable, yet unassuming arisen. (Often given the description of 'old school' or 'homage'.) It would have been nice if play experience had mattered more, if fun had been more successful than 'looks awesome' but that hasn't been the case in a long time.
My own attitude to Duke 1 is tinted by Duke 2, which took a limited engine (That of Cosmo) and did incredible things with it. Whenever I see Duke 1, as fond as my memories of it are (It was the first game I purchased the full series of.), I cannot help but think 'The sequel did so much more in this area!'. Duke 1 is like Keen 1 to me, a start, but bland and limited once you've experienced the greater things in the series. Not necessarily bad, but less good.
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