Here’s a video of Doom running on gut bacteria, proving you really can play the game on anything

Here’s a video of Doom running on gut bacteria, proving you really can play the game on anything


An MIT biotech researcher has been able to run the iconic computer game Doom using actual gut bacteria. Lauren Ramlan didn’t get the game going on a digital simulation of bacteria, but turned actual bacteria into pixels to display the 30-year-old FPS, as reported by Rock Paper Shotgun.

Specifically, Ramlan created a display inside of a cell wall made entirely of E. coli bacteria. The 32×48 1-bit display may not win any resolution awards, but who cares, right? It’s Doom running on bacteria. The researcher dosed the bacteria with fluorescent proteins to get them to light up just like digital pixels.

There’s a couple of caveats here. First of all, the bacteria aren’t actually running the game, as we still haven’t cracked that whole “inject biological matter with digital code” thing. Instead, the bacteria combine to act as a teensy-tiny monitor that renders gameplay for the beloved shooter.

Also, there’s the subject of frame rate, which is always an important metric when considering FPS games. To be blunt, the frame rate is atrocious, likely due to the fact that bacteria were never intended to display 3D video games. It takes 70 minutes for the bacteria to illuminate one frame of the game and another eight hours to return to its starting state. This translates to nearly nine hours per frame, which means it would take around 600 years to play the game from start to finish. That’s even worse than Cyberpunk 2077 at launch.

So while this won’t present the smoothest gameplay experience, it’s still a pretty nifty idea. Also, it further proves the theory that Doom can run on just about anything. We’ve seen the game running on pregnancy tests, rat brain neurons and even inside of other titles, like the sequel Doom II and Minecraft. Doom is the great equalizer. May it continue to surprise us for the next 30 years.


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