Doom now runs on an Ikea smart light bulb

Technology

The creators of the mod, Next-Hack, have taken down the video. In a comment on Reddit they say they “had a request to remove this post and all public material.” We’ve reached out to see what that request might have been.

“Can it run Doom?” is a question nearly as old as Doom itself, as creative hardware hackers and software savants across the internet work to try and get the 1993 classic shooter to run on virtually anything that has a microprocessor. The latest absurd entry: an Ikea Trådfri GU10 345 RGB LED bulb, which Next-Hack has managed to hack into running a modified version of Doom.

The actual hack is a bit of a cheat, given the fact that unlike past Doom hack candidates, like the Nintendo Game & Watch, the MacBook Pro Touch Bar, or a TI calculator, the Trådfri bulb doesn’t have any buttons or a display. Next-Hack had to add those, using the MGM210L RF board that powers the “smart” part of the bulb, and modifying a copy of Doom to run on its paltry 108kB of RAM.

And even then, there’s a lot of impressive workarounds to get the actual game to run, including adding additional storage, getting audio to work, and the ever-tricky management of RAM.

For deeper technical details, it’s worth reading the full article, but the results speak for themselves — the processor has enough power to not only run Doom, but run the modified version pretty well. Not bad for a light bulb.