In context: Just about anything can run Doom. We know that lightweight versions can run on a figurative potato, and it wouldn't be surprising if someone came out tomorrow and said they got it to run on a literal potato. A port that runs in the Windows Notepad shows we might actually be getting close.
There is no shortage of impractical ports of the 1993 classic first-person shooter Doom. Some have been somewhat sensible, like the developer that ported it to the low-spec Playdate handheld. Others have been absurd "just because I can" proofs of concept, like the version that runs on a single key display or an Ikea smart lamp.
NotepadDoom falls into that latter category. A YouTuber named Sam "Samperson" Chiet somehow got Doom running inside of Microsoft Notepad — at 60 frames per second, no less. You can see it demoed in the video below. Samperson says he did not speed up the footage or modify the Notepad code.
Each frame is rendered with Notepad characters — similar to ASCII art. Honestly, the graphics are nothing to look at, and playing Doom this way is as likely to give you a headache before you can call it "fun." Nonetheless, it is an interesting new application for Notepad and yet another version of Doom we can tack onto the corkboard.
Chiet insists his port is not a "trick," but with only the video to go on, it's hard to validate that claim. Fortunately, he says he will release the code in the coming days after he fixes a few bugs and adds another layer of polish to it. Until then, it is safe to assume that, like so many other Doom ports, Notepad only acts as a display while that actual game is running outside of the lightweight word processor.
NotepadDoom is not the first time a hacker has brought id Sofware's shooter to a non-gaming Microsoft software product. Earlier this year, someone got it to run inside Excel. Like Notepad's noisy graphics, Excel's sluggish framerate makes the game almost unplayable, or at the very least unenjoyable.
It's simply another novelty of human innovation that furthers a movement that has become a meme. Nobody will ever really play Doom on a pregnancy test display, just as they aren't likely to play it for long in Notepad. However, that will not stop people from cramming it into your motherboard's BIOS or the ordering kiosk at the McDonalds on Dorsett.