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Circuit Breaker

New ‘Will it run Doom?’ champion gets Doom 2 to run on a single keyboard key

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Alright, who can top this?

Doom is a classic game from the annals of computer history, and in recent years it's become a benchmark of sorts of pushing the limits of absurd hardware that can run it. "Will it run Doom?" has become the standard of hacking something to a conceivable point of usability.

But it may be that we've come to the end of this cycle, with the latest enterprising hack from the Radioactive Channel on YouTube that has managed to put a playable version of Doom 2 on a key from the Optimus Maximus keyboard. (The Optimus Maximus, if you're unfamiliar, was a design project that reimagined a keyboard as totally modular by replacing each key with a miniature screen.) It's kind of weird when you realize you're essentially using a game controller as a console to play Doom.

Unlike many of the Doom hacks we've seen, the Maximus key hack seems to be somewhat playable, despite the 48 × 48 pixel screen the Maximus keys have to offer. But despite that, the video shows a player actually visibly moving around and shooting a revolver, which is more than, say, the Touch Bar Doom hack can say.

Given the likely difficult technical requirements to get this set up, along with the fact the Maximus is out of production — and cost roughly $1,500 when it was available for purchase — there are probably easier ways to play Doom. But with that said, the gauntlet has been thrown — who’s going to get Doom running on an even smaller screen?