Genius gamer creates working computer in-game

Dwarf Fortress encourages players to create a home for virtual dwarfs; one player has built a working digital computer

Could a Tron-style future be too far away?

Could a Tron-style future be too far away?

Dwarf Fortress is similar to many "God Games" in which the player assumes the role of an omnipotent being concerned with the care of a group of virtual followers. In Dwarf Fortress, the dwarves are in need of an underground fortress to call their own. Much like other games in the genre, Dwarf Fortress also tasks the player with guiding the dwarfs through a series of hazards, including opposing factions, harsh winters, and the occasional collapsing roof.

However, instead of instructing the dwarfs to create a home, dwarves under the command of one player, "Jong89," have recently put the finishing touches on a working digital computer. The construction spanned 35 in-game years, and was a monumental undertaking, so to speak. The computer consists of "672 pumps, 2000 logs, 8500 mechanisms and thousands of other assort bits and knobs like doors and rock blocks."

Though the computer is fully functional, Jong89 describes the performance as "really lousy." In this case, "lousy" is a relative term, considering the computer was constructed entirely inside a game world, but it can safely be assumed it's not going to run Crysis very well. It's not known how the dwarfs feel about living inside a working computer, as they could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

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Chris Head

IDG News Service


Tim Larkin


No example of what the computer does? That's like reporting that the iPad has a CPU and RAM.

How does the computer work in the game? If I wanted to calculate something, how would I do that with the pumps and logs?

Caid Johnson


Very cool. I've seen amazing machine like things in games before but constructing a computer, even one so basic is quite the feat. Well done, Jong.




Do u mean like a Pc? so internet browsing and microsft word ? or am i missing the point xD



I am also skeptical, not that it happened, but under what qualifications it is being considered a computer...


5 inside the computer...I wonder if they call it Deep Thought, or The Earth...and perhaps it will come up with an answer...

So now all he needs to do is have the Dwarves create a computer within the computer, and then...

...Error 42: Recursive Function Call....

Ice Blue Rhino


Someone was able to make a fully functional calculator in Little Big Planet using similar switches and levers. I don't see what the big deal is unless you are talking about something else entirely.
Please post news that actually makes since and is relevant to anyone who cares.

Galactic Fisticuffs


I think it's obvious that some of the people commenting on this piece clearly don't understand the difference between "computer" and "modern personal computer." This is more akin to Babbage's difference engine than the device people are reading this comment on, but that absolutely qualifies as a computer, and that doesn't make it any less of an achievement, considering the tools at hand. It's pretty cool stuff.

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