Conway's Game of Life

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Conway's Game of Life
DesignerJohn Horton Conway
TopicCellular automata
Time5 minutes
No. of roles/players1, viewer
Archive of Simulations and Games for the Enhancement of the Learning Experience
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Conway's Game of Life
Glider Gun

In this learning project we explore Conway's Game of Life. The game involves an (infinite) two-dimensional grid with black and white squares, which may be represented as 1 and 0. One may think of them as "live cells" or "dead cells". The grid evolves. The evolution rule is as follows:

  • All cells evolve simultaneously
  • Each cell has eight neighbours
  • An alive cell with two or three neighbours continues to live. Otherwise it dies.
  • A dead cell with exactly three neighbours will become alive.

From these simple forms it is possible to create stable and recursive patterns, such as the Gosper Glider Gun (illustrated).

The Game of Life is a prototypical example of a cellular automaton, an automatic machine of cells. It has attracted the interest of researchers in diverse fields. Patterns in Conway's Game of Life have been shown to be capable of emulating a universal Turing machine.

For more details and context, see w:Conway's Game of Life.

Try your hand[edit | edit source]

You may try your hand on the following (finite!) 10x10 toroidal model of the Game of Life by:

  • pressing the "edit this page" button on the top of the page and
  • then the "Save page" button below the editing window.

(If it doesn't seem to work, there may be a cache problem. Try purging it or editing it again. )

Sandbox[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]