clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch Quake being played on an oscilloscope

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

What is considered by some to be the first video game — Tennis For Two — was played on an oscilloscope at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958. Fifty-six years later, oscilloscopes can still play video games — in this case, Quake.

Finnish modder Pekka Väänänen got Quake, the 1996 landmark of PC gaming, to run on a Huawei V-422 oscilloscope. You can see it in the video above, which shows a playthrough of Quake's first level.

Oscilloscopes measure electrical signals, so the video output here is some kind of weird cross between vector graphics and a Pink Floyd laser show from 1983. It's not the only piece of highly specialized scientific equipment to run video games, either.

A more detailed technical report on how this all works may be read here.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.