An industrious Cities: Skylines player has created something that is simultaneously interesting, amusing, and mildly horrifying all at once: A poop-powered computer. No, this isn’t some ultra-green piece of hardware that runs on cow dung and quinoa or something like that—it’s an in-game city was specially created to make a very, very simple calculator that behaves like some of our earliest circuit boards.
A bit of background: The earliest electronic and mechanical computers operated using something called “logic gates.” If you’ve ever messed around with Redstone contraptions in Minecraft, you were essentially doing the same thing. Many gamers over the years have figured out how to make simple computers using game mechanics (Minecraft included, of course), and now one Daniel Bali has done the same in Cities: Skylines. His creation is a bit special, of course: It’s powered by poop.
Technically, Mr. Bali’s computer is powered by sewage, so one could argue that his city-sized computer is only mostly powered by poop. The specialized map was created using several basic principles. Firstly, a map with a grid of trenches was uploaded into his game. Then, a series of power plants and sewer outputs were created. Finally, some other various bits and baubles were wired up to allow the player to enter simple mathematical operations.
The way it works is through the abuse of an in-game mechanic. If a building gets too flooded, it stops working. So, if you try to do “2 + 4” in the poop computer, it will begin flooding certain parts of the “circuit board.” Once a power plant has been flooded, it stops working and therefore effectively acts like an on/off switch. Several of these switches arranged together can be used to do simple calculations.
Unfortunately, the Cities: Skylines poop computer is a wee bit slow. It takes 15 in-game months (or roughly 20 real-world minutes) to do a single operation. That said, Daniel Bali isn’t giving up. He’s keen on finding a more efficient way to create a computer in-game—and it probably won’t use poop the second time around.
[Image credit: Daniel Bali]
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