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Thursday, February 22, 2024

PSA: Doom could be running inside your kids’ Halloween candy

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Delightful tech makers and hackers at Adafruit have an important PSA for you this Halloween, asking you to be sure that someone hasn’t gotten Doom running inside your childrens’ Halloween candy. As proof of this danger they produce a Milky Way candy bar (that’s a Mars, literal rest of the world) complete with functional screen running Doom.

If that confuses you, some context: As we do every year, American society is panicking about the infinitesimally small possibility that someone would put expensive and dangerous illegal substances inside children’s Halloween candy. It’s perhaps our favorite moral panic, and the attention must be great, because various scare news outlets call attention to it every year.

Running Doom on things is, of course, the highest tradition of gaming and hardware hacking. Its combination of open-source code and simplicity, combined with the very low by modern standards system requirements, have produced lots of strange results over the years.

This year alone we’ve seen someone running Doom inside the Notepad app, inside Doom itself, and played with a rotary telephone. Recent years have seen innovations like that Nintendo Game & Watch alarm clock, or my personal favorite: 100 pounds of moldy potatoes. Sadly, playing Doom’s music on strange things is a trend that I was hoping would catch on, but didn’t, following that time someone got E1M1 playing on PS5 DualSense haptics.

If you need more just trawl the archives of our Doom tag page. There are… a lot of them.

Adafruit is a maker crew out of New York City that builds all kind of neat stuff and supplies equipment to the broader maker community. In the past we’ve covered their construction of a working LEGO space computer and a wildly creative motion-enabled LED skirt.

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