Skip to main content

Quake running on an oscilloscope is the ultimate demake

Quake running on an oscilloscope is the ultimate demake


A version of Quake now runs on an oscilloscope — just like Tennis for Two

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Programmer Pekka Väänänen has rendered a playable version of the classic first-person shooter Quake on an oscilloscope. Video game demakes — adaptations or ports that recreate a game in art styles or on hardware from before their time — have become trendy in recent years, but this demo is a particularly old-fashioned throwback. In 1958, physicist William Higinbotham created one of the first video games, a tennis simulation that ran on a Donner Model 30 analog computer and an oscilloscope display. That game used dots on a 2D plane; Väänänen's creation draws the shooter's 3D space in a style reminiscent of a high school student's sketch book.

Väänänen's announcement explains the creation of the demonstration, and includes some open problems, implying this might not be the last we see of Quake on oscilloscope. If you want to play, you can grab a Hitachi V-422 oscilloscope — the model used for this demonstration — on eBay right now for $149.99. Or you could just play Quake on your laptop for a few bucks. Below, I've included a photo of Tennis for Two running on its own oscilloscope from at its original 1958 public showing.

Tennis for Two