Some genius programmed ‘Quake’ on an old oscilloscope

No, seriously, someone made this work and it’s crazy.

 

Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Dec 30, 2014   Updated May 29, 2021, 9:12 pm CDT

You don’t need a new HD 4K television that costs thousands of dollars to play video games. Hell, you just need an oscilloscope that might run you less than a hundred bucks.

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Pekka Väänänen, a programmer from Finland, has managed to run the first-person shooter Quake on a Hitachi V-422 model oscilloscope. There’s a poetry to this, in that the video game industry practically began on an oscilloscope with Tennis For Two, invented by Dr. William Higinbotham in 1958 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

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You can get all the technical details of Väänänen’s experiment here. As far as we can follow, Väänänen used a combination of hand-coded software and existing tools to accomplish playing Quake, a game that defined a marked leap forward in FPS programming when it was released in 1996, on a device whose ilk first came into use over 50 years ago.

The best part of this experiment, which might look amazing to a layperson’s eye? Väänänen writes on his blog that he was disappointed by its performance.

Screengrab via KepuliGames/YouTube

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*First Published: Dec 30, 2014, 11:07 pm CST