Most of us know the feeling of being faced with a CAPTCHA so irritating that we close the page. Wouldn’t it be great if these tests that separate robots from humans didn’t involve deciphering blurry words or selecting squares containing buses/fire hydrants/signs etc., but were actually something fun, like playing a tiny game of Doom? One developer has taken up that challenge, and it’s certainly an improvement.
Miquel Camps Orteza created the aptly named DOOM CAPTCHA (try it below) and posted it to his Github page. This isn’t Doom as seen on PC, or the hundreds of other devices id Software’s FPS has been made to run on, but a still screen that tasks you with taking out four Doom imps using crosshairs within the allotted time.
The Doom sprites, music, and sound effects are a nice touch. And it’s unarguably more fun and quicker than regular CAPTCHAs, which take an average of 32 seconds to complete.
Orteza says he came up with the idea on Friday, developed the first version on Saturday morning, published that night, then went live on Github on Sunday. It proved popular enough to become the product of the day on the Product Hunt website.
The developer does emphasize that his project is mostly a bit of fun and that it’d be pretty easy to “break the security” of the CAPTCHA. It even has a cheat code Easter egg: type IDDQD while the CAPTCHA runs to skip past it.
It would be nice if devs took heed of the love surrounding Orteza’s creation and made CAPTCHAs that were a bit of fun, rather than a frustrating experience that leaves us confused over whether a single tire pixel inside a square means it “contains a bus.”
Doom, of course, has been made to run on virtually everything with a screen, including the retro-style Playdate handheld, a McDonald’s cash register, John McAfee’s “unhackable” crypto wallet, Apple’s touch bar, a single keyboard key display, a Porsche 911, inkjet printers, a Commodore 64, ATMs, calculators, iPods, and even a virtual console within the game itself. There was also a custom chip last year that plays nothing but Doom.