WTF?! 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.
I tried zooming in and turning up the in-game gamma a bit, so you can see what's going on slightly better.— foone (@Foone) September 7, 2020
(It's a 128x32 pixel monochrome display, it's never gonna be great) pic.twitter.com/dAU7LZ1pkT
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.