Video games have been a staple of after-work entertainment and weekend amusement for decades. Over the years, there has been a slew of gaming system mods and PC upgrades to make video games even more enjoyable. For some though, the plethora of options just wasn’t enough. The “Will it DOOM?” challenge was born, testing gamers’ technical expertise and creativity in an attempt to find the most ridiculous ways to run a game of DOOM. ATMs? Sure. A pregnancy test? Why not. The only limit is your imagination (and programming abilities, resources, technical skills, etc. But mostly the imagination thing).
Recently, a Reddit user who goes by the name of Equalo shared his DOOM triumph after he was able to make the game playable on a TI-84+ calculator. Cool, right? Oh, and the game was powered entirely by potatoes, roughly 200 of them wired together.
Equalo started the project after a friend challenged him to run DOOM on something unusual. He told The Dad, “I couldn’t think of any device that it hadn’t been played on before, but I realized I might be able to power it with potatoes if I ran it on something low power enough. From there I just started doing research to find a low powered device and figure out just how much power a potato generates.”
After using a multimeter to determine how much energy output a potato had, Equalo realized just how little (.9 volts, for the most powerful potato) they contained. The obvious answer here is more potatoes, and that’s exactly what Equalo did.
It took around 200 potatoes and several days of work, but the crazy son of a spud did it. And what a sweet, starchy success it was.
“I’ve always loved working on technology projects and trying to find creative ways to approach ideas like this,” Equalo said. “I like to challenge myself to try things that haven’t been done before. I think this was just the first time I really succeeded at doing something truly groundbreaking (if you can call stringing together hundreds of potatoes groundbreaking).”
Groundbreaking indeed. Because, you know, potatoes grow underground. So to get to them, you have to – you know what, never mind. We’re both alarmed and impressed at the dedication it took to accomplish this unique feat. Not as unique as one might expect though, Equalo received several messages from people who were working on the exact same thing. Yes, at this very moment, people around the world are busting their spuds trying to play a potato-powered game of DOOM.
But Equalo, Idaho’s very own potato king (a very fitting home state for this tater techie) got there first – and he has some words of wisdom for anyone attempting to follow in his footsteps. “Make sure you’re doing it in a well ventilated area! I didn’t know this at the time, but apparently potatoes give off a poisonous gas as they decompose and can be deadly! Thankfully I was fine, but make sure to be careful if you want to try something like this.”
We’ll keep that in mind for all future potato projects, thanks. Glad you made it, Equalo – we were all rooting for you.