Doom can now be played on a tractor

A hacked tractor is a huge victory for the right to repair the movement.

The whole “Doom is playable” meme has largely run its course, especially after reaching its logical conclusion last month. However, the Doom game on a John Deere tractor is more than just a continuation of the meme; It is a great victory for the right to repair movement.

At last weekend’s DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Australian hacker “Sick Codes” revealed that the screen on his John Deere tractor was working. a farm-themed copy of Doom. The exhibit was a victory for the right to repair movement as it demonstrated that several popular tractor models can be pirated.

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“Farmers prefer the older equipment simply because they want reliability. They don’t want things to go wrong at the height of the year when they have to get things out of the ground,” Sick Codes told Wired in an interview. “So that’s what we should all want too. We want farmers to be able to fix their stuff for when things go wrong, and now that means being able to fix or make decisions about the software on their tractors.”

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For decades, John Deere has had a virtual monopoly on farm equipment in the United States, and it uses that power to embed anti-tamper mechanisms in its tractors, forcing farmers into expensive repair contracts and preventing them from repairing their own hardware. Along with Apple, the right to repair movement uses John Deere as a prime example of why legislation allowing owners to repair their own things is needed.

John Deere has fought for the right to fix the move every step of the way, even going so far as to create their own Monopoly board game so that a Google search for “John Deere Monopoly” only brings up ads for the game instead of a bunch of bad press.

Sick Codes took months to crack John Deere hardware and it required some pretty sophisticated methods. He hopes that the knowledge he gained from jailbreaking John Deere tractors can be used to create a tool to hack other tractors much more easily.

And while those cheats are likely just so farmers can fix their own tractors, it’s nice to know they could be playing Doom while they’re at it.

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