Orbit Agent

News for nerds

It’s long been said that if it’s got a display, it can run Doom. The list of devices hacked to play id Software’s granddaddy of all FPS games is extensive, but the latest item is something nobody would have expected: a home pregnancy test kit. There are a couple of huge caveats, though.
The act of technical wizardry comes from California-based programmer Foone, who describes themselves as “Hardware / software necromancer, collector of Weird Stuff, maker of Death Generators.” They tweeted a video of what appears to be Doom running on the minuscule display of an electronic pregnancy test kit, but it’s not quite what it seems.

Foone explains a couple of important points. Firstly, they’re not actually playing the game; it’s just a non-interactive video of Doom. Secondly, the device’s display and microcontroller had to be replaced because “the existing CPU can’t be reprogrammed and the existing LCD can only show 4 things,” meaning the only original part of the pregnancy test is the outer shell. It’s also noted that the hardware doesn’t even fit into the casing.

Despite this, it’s still an impressive feat of engineering, and seeing Doom moving on a 128 x 32 pixel monochrome display is quite cool.

Some of the unlikely devices that have run playable versions of Doom include: the retro-style Playdate handheld, a McDonald’s cash register, John McAfee’s “unhackable” crypto wallet, Apple’s touch bar, a single keyboard key display, a Porsche 911, inkjet printers, a Commodore 64, ATMs, calculators, iPods, and even a virtual console within the game itself. There was also a custom chip earlier this year that plays nothing but Doom.