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Now you can play Doom over teletext

You can even play using a TV remote control

Blocky ultraviolence with Doom played over Teletext using the doom-teletext mod.
Image credit: lukneu

Add another one to the list of weird and delightful ways to play ye olde Doom: teletext. A new mod converts Doom to a teletext signal, letting you play the seminal shooter rendered in blocky teletext art on a telly. You can even control it with your TV remote. Have a look in the video below! I really, really like the smiley face replacing Doomguy's gurn.

Watch on YouTube

You can download the teletext-doom mod from GitHub. Right now, it only supports the original Doom. Obviously it takes a bit of work to get running even on computers, though you really can set it up to play on a real television if you want—and if your TV can handle it. The developer, Lukneu warns that "many modern TVs seem to struggle when updating teletext pages", with their modern LG groaning along at 3fps while an old CRT happily plays at 30fps.

You might remember teletext art being prettier than this but Lukneu says it's an intentional decision. While later revisions of teletext tech added support for more colours, higher-resolution graphics, and other handy bits, this uses the original Level 1 teletext standard "mainly because it just feels like 'real' teletext to me and I like the original blocky look."

Teletext, I'll explain for the benefit of folks who never had it, was a bit like a magazine inside your television. The tech hid data streams inside unseen portions of the TV transmission, accessed by opening teletext and entering page numbers, and had just enough space for text and low-resolution ASCII art. You could get news, sports, TV listings, quizzes, dating profiles, and so much more. It was ultimately made obsolete by the Internet but for a while was very exciting and handy. My sister and I always played the Bamboozle quiz together, and the Digister video game pages were a huge influence on me back then.

Potential future ideas for the project include support for other levels and various rendering modes that use colours, or use ASCII characters instead of mosaic tiles, or only draw edges.

The only new feature I want is level load screens presented as Teletext Holidays listings. Only £37 for an all-inclusive weekend at Phobos Lab! Ooh or £52 for a romantic couples getaway in the Slough of Despair. But ah, skip that week-long tour of the The Shores of Hell; it sounds scenic but my pal went last year and said it was just lads on the lash.

People have made Doom play in and on all sorts of weird devices, from cash registers to tractors. Some pals of mine hooked Doom up to a real piano (a project I played the tiniest part in) so it was controlled by hitting keys, making every play session also a piano performance. The blog It Runs Doom! tracks people's delightful efforts jamming Doom into unlikely places.

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