“Can it run Doom?” It’s a question that has delighted the online masses for years as techie folks attempt to play the influential 1993 demon shooter on all sorts of different devices and platforms.
The latest? It’s Dogecoin. Yes, Dogecoin runs Doom.
A pseudonymous Dogecoin ecosystem contributor called Pimax, also known as “Mini Doge,” has added a playable copy of Doom to the Dogecoin blockchain via its NFT-like protocol known as “Doginals.”
Doginals are like Bitcoin Ordinals, allowing users to “inscribe” or add any media or content they’d like to the smallest fractions of the currency, effectively adding it as an impermeable artifact to the blockchain. In the case of Dogecoin, these fractions are known as “Shibes.”
A quick playthrough of Dogecoin’s Doom shows that it’s just like the 1993 version, complete with body shields and different levels of difficulty. It takes a bit of time to load, but is fully playable in a web browser regardless of whether you’re on a Mac or Windows PC.
“What’s particularly noteworthy is the size of the game,” Pimax told Decrypt via email. “At 4.2 MB, it’s a feat not currently achievable on Bitcoin, but we have proven it possible on Dogecoin.”
On Bitcoin, 400KB is the maximum size for an Ordinal without a Bitcoin miner—though using a miner, it is possible to make a single inscription on Bitcoin up to 4MB. In any case, it can be very expensive to inscribe on Bitcoin due to high network fees.
“The ability to inscribe more data on Dogecoin at a fraction of the cost compared to Bitcoin’s Ordinals opens up immense possibilities,” Pimax told Decrypt via email.
“Inscribing a game like Doom on Dogecoin paves the way for a variety of interactive Doginals and applications to be hosted directly on the blockchain, ensuring permanence and accessibility,” he added. “This certainly points to the potential for a burgeoning new kind of gaming ecosystem, GameFi, [and] metaverses directly on Dogecoin, and even more practical uses that we have yet to discover.”
Bitcoin Ordinals have seen substantial popularity since the protocol launched in January 2023. Over 56.7 million different pieces of data—typically images, GIFs, short videos, or even games like Doom—have since been inscribed on Bitcoin, per a Dune dashboard.
Like Ordinals, Doginals have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in collective trading volume since their inception, with top projects like “Doginal Dogs” seeing over $220,000 in total volume traded to date.
Why does Doom on Dogecoin matter? Well, for advocates of the meme coin, it’s another example that Dogecoin is more than just a coin on a blockchain with a dog face.
Like Bitcoin, the advent of Ordinals tech means that Dogecoin is now developing a more robust selection of on-chain apps and media—with NFT-like assets, its own crypto tokens (DRC-20s), and now even retro games like Doom.
It’s also a running joke among developers and tech enthusiasts that almost any device can run Doom since its devs released Doom’s source code back in 1997. In the past, Doom has been implemented to various degrees on Bitcoin, a pregnancy test, a tractor’s computer, inside Minecraft, and on a McDonalds’ cash register, to name a few of the most surprising examples.
But the version of Doom inscribed on Bitcoin via Ordinals early last year was a generic clone—a knockoff that mimicked the basic mechanics of Doom, but didn’t look anything like the original. Dogecoin now has that leg up on Bitcoin, at least for now.
What about a possible future of a Dogecoin-based gaming ecosystem? Pimax told Decrypt that he’d love to create an on-chain game.
“While this represents a significant technical challenge, I believe it’s achievable, and I am currently working on exploring these possibilities,” he shared.
Edited by Andrew Hayward