If you’re not into decking the halls with shimmering baubles or cutesy Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, Jeroen Domburg has created a fantastically nerdy alternative: a tiny retro desktop PC ornament complete with a working screen that actually plays Doom.
We’ve stumbled across a handful of holiday decorating hacks like these over the years, including a miniature Nintendo Switch with a screen that plays gameplay GIFs from titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and a tiny retro TV packed with a playlist of classic ‘90s holiday commercials. While once popcorn on a long string was considered to be all a Christmas tree needed to look festive, our demand for elaborate holiday adornments has taken over, and Domburg is now raising the bar even higher.
His tiny desktop PC, which looks modeled after the aggressively beige IBM workstations of the ‘80s (despite Doom not arriving until late 1993), was creating using a 3D printer. The models Domburg used are available through GitHub for anyone who wants to make their own. Instead of a classic Intel processor, the ornament runs on an ESP32, and while Doom has already been ported to it before, Domburg instead opted for a version of the first-person shooter that had been ported to the Game Boy Advance (and not the official Doom GBA release), because it facilitated controller connectivity.
So while the ornament can run autonomously, simply playing through Doom’s demo mode, the tiny PC can also be connected to a Bluetooth controller for anyone who wants the eye-melting challenge of hunting down baddies just millimeters in height. In its current form, it only offers single player gameplay, but we’d love to see a version two that offers multiplayer as well. An entire tree covered in tiny Doom playing PCs all networked together is just about as perfect a Christmas morning as we can imagine.