15 things that prove that Doom will run on literally anything is a really weird headline, isn’t it? But I promise, from here on, things get even weirder. Because if running Doom on fridges, ATMs, and smartwatches doesn’t drop your jaw – I bet the 1995 all-time classic shooter running on New York City’s public access wifi terminals, a single keyboard key, and a blooming pregnancy test will. Yes, really! Back in the day, there was barely a PC that didn’t have Doom installed, and today, even the likes of the Nintendo Switch are in on the act.
But the, let’s call it hardware, on this list takes Doom to a whole new level. Here are 15 things that prove that Doom will run on literally anything.
If you use Twitter, it’s probably a sizeable part of your daily routine, such is the all-consuming nature of social media. Now, among the news, advertising, and ‘discourse’ that fills your feed, you can, if you desire, find Doom Guy. Because of course you can. Powered by the Tweet2Doom bot, you can now play Doom directly through Twitter, by way of painstaking tweets that reflect a basic scripting language, that can be extended across tweet threads. Clear as mud? Here’s some of that fairly chaotic fare in motion:
🎥 Random playsDescription: 10 randomly selected @tweet2doom nodes rendered in a single videoFramerate: 60 fps pic.twitter.com/PEPbo3uUDbOctober 14, 2021
A pregnancy test
Yesterday I had a lot of retweets and reddit posts and such for playing Doom on a pregnancy test.But as I explained then, it wasn’t really PLAYING on a pregnancy test, it was just a video being played back, not an interactive game.Well, now it is. It’s Pregnancy Test Doom! pic.twitter.com/Nrjyq07EVvSeptember 7, 2020
Yes, Doom is now playable on a pregnancy test. With its monochrome pixel 128 x 32 display, it’s a teeny tiny way to get stuck into the classic FPS. Programmer Foone replaced the existing CPU and swapped out the LED display for OLED since a pregnancy test couldn’t run the game as is. Controlled using a keyboard, Pregnancy Test Doom is certainly one of the more unusual ways to take on the role of Doom Guy.
100 pounds of mouldy potatoes
Beyond that incredible sub-header and image, there’s not much more we can say here that enterprising YouTuber Equalo (opens in new tab) hasn’t already. Technically, this is Doom running on a TI-84 graphing calculator, powered by 770 slices of slowly rotting potatoes, but, come on, this is pretty incredible. Over you, Equalo and thank you for your service.
An Apple watch
Simultaneously as impressive as it is impractical. This is what happens when tech people have a hackathon. On the one hand it’s amazing that what was the peak of gaming in 1995 now runs on *a watch* but on the other, it’s not entirely a practical way to play the game.
A portable plate edge bevelling machine
This is a little like cheating (opens in new tab) because it is just a big computer, albeit one that adds PVC strips to furniture on an industrial scale. Still, let’s not underestimate the skill involved in making Doom run on a something more used to applying the finishing touches to showers and kitchen cupboards.
A Macbook touch bar
Probably the least practical Doom hack ever, creating a version of the game that appears to be in a 100:10 aspect ratio. Kudos for getting it to work, but it looks like a visual representation of a migraine and probably plays like one too.
What’s interesting here is that this famous Doom hack (opens in new tab) was actually part of an experiment to show security exploits in wireless printers. It was, at one point, possible to force a firmware update on a printer and make it run any software – spying stuff for example to sneak a look at what was being printed. Or, in this case, a version of Doom.
A graphics calculator
Graphics calculators are good at one thing mainly: graphical calculation. In terms of innards they don’t have half the things you’re supposed to need to do this, like loads of RAM or a GPU, which makes a working version of Doom here more witchcraft than anything else. Apparently it drains the batteries in minutes.
On a single key
The Optimus Maximus was a $1500 keyboard that had a programmable screen on every single key. The idea was you could map just about any lettering or symbols to it depending on the game you were playing. And, if we’ve learned anything so far, is that anything with a screen will be forced to run Doom. In this case in a glorious 48×48 resolution (opens in new tab).
Public access tablets
Achievement Unlocked: DOOM running on a LinkNYC kiosk (wifi and android kiosk on NYC streets) pic.twitter.com/OVevmJ3JNbApril 10, 2016
I’m not sure this is what New York had in mind when it provided hundreds of public kiosks to give people free computer access and WiFi. Still, if it can run Doom, it should. This isn’t a true hack, though, as it’s really just playing an online emulator via a browser, but it counts all the same.
This old Sony phone
It might not play any sound but this old Sony K-800i apparently “runs okay (opens in new tab).” It’s made possible by patching the firmware to let the phone run custom executable files. Like Doom. Because what else are you going to do with phone from 2006, call someone?
On a camera
What’s most impressive about this is that the 1998 Kodak DC260 digital camera is almost as old as Doom itself. A lot of things on this list work because time moves on and there’s now enough power in a watch to run a game that originally needed an entire PC. Bonus points for the fact that this has a TV out as well if you want a bigger screen.
On an old iPod
Not just an old iPod, but a Nano at that, for extra showing off. This is probably a hack you could do yourself if you had one lying around, as there’s an Instructables (opens in new tab) guide detailing the steps needed to do it.
Not having any of the right buttons has certainly never stopped anyone running Doom on a thing. So an ATM? Sure, whatever. As well as getting the game working on a cash machine, these ambitious hackers have also got it using the buttons on the side of the screens, swapping the $10, $20 money options for pistol, shotgun and so on.
There are so many different versions of Doom now that almost anything is possible, including GZDoom, an open source port that includes support for arcade machines capable of playing other games. Like Doom. In Doom. Doom squared, if you like. Yes it is a bit Inception-y.