Notepad of Doom

Doom is one of the most well-known and earliest entries into successful PC gaming. Id practically invented the FPS (First Person Shooter) genre with Wolfenstein and then Doom. For years, the joke is asking if a piece of technology runs Doom. Now, we get the ultimate Doom: running in Notepad. Chris Kerr at Game Developer has more of this incredible feat.

In a video uploaded to YouTube and shared on social media, creator Samperson showcased just under one minute of footage that feels like a flickering, greyscale fever dream. 

Although they didn't break down their process, Samperson explained the footage isn't sped up and that they didn't modify the code of Notepad.exe at all. "This is fully playable, interactive, live, [and uses] zero fakery," added the developer. "This is exactly what it looks like. This is your fault."

Game Developer

The video is quite impressive and Samperson received kudos from none other than Doom co-created John Romero. Romero commented “incredible” when seeing what had been achieved.

Of course Doom isn’t actually “running” within Notepad, but rather Notepad is being used as the display for the game’s output. What does that mean? Basically the program is redrawing the game’s video multiple times per second. I’ll agree with Romero on this. This truly is an incredible feat for a game that predates the internet and ubiquitous computing.