Apple has always pushed its hardware as tools for creative types — not toys for gamers — but that hasn’t stopped creative developers from turning Macs into unique gaming machines, like putting Lemmings on the Touch Bar, and now putting an icon-sized playable version of Pong in the dock.
By day Neil Sardesai is an iOS engineer at a company called Butterfly (makers of a handheld ultrasound device that sends live imagery to a smartphone or tablet) but in their spare time they “make apps, games, and other cool stuff” which they share on Twitter and occasionally make available through GitHub. Previous creations include Mouse Finder, a fun replacement for the macOS Finder icon that animates the smiling face’s eyes so that they’re always following the mouse pointer. But one of Sardesai’s more recent creations looks like the perfect way to covertly pass the time during a boring Zoom meeting.
Who says you can’t play games on a Mac ???? pic.twitter.com/GNVDUd59bQ
— Neil Sardesai (@neilsardesai) February 19, 2021
It’s a game of Pong, which, if you search the Mac App Store, is already available in many other iterations for macOS. But Sardesai’s version isn’t played in a window you’ll need to hide or minimise when you’re supposed to be working. Instead, it’s completely self-contained inside its own dock icon and is played by simply moving the mouse pointer up and down to control the paddle. It’s incredibly minimal, but as one of the first mainstream video games, Pong is too, so it’s a perfect match.
Sardesai hasn’t released dock Pong through GitHub yet but does want to eventually, and hopefully soon, as many of us are still trapped at home and in desperate need of new ways to endure endless video calls. Their creation has inspired others, however, including Chris Jones who answered the question asked of almost any technology: Will it run Doom?
If you insist 🙂
(it's insanely janky, because I got annoyed with trying to figure out how to get bitmap data back out of NSOpenGL things, but at least it does something!) pic.twitter.com/rlZhozL5d1
— Chris Jones (@cmsj) February 22, 2021
The answer is yes, which is great news for those who find Pong a little dull and who don’t mind playing a classic first-person-shooter while squinting at a tiny icon at the bottom of their screen. Doom isn’t available for download yet either, but hopefully, Jones and Sardesai inspire other developers to create even more dock games so we can all install a miniature arcade down there when 10am rolls around and we don’t feel like working anymore.