Play John Conway’s Game of Life

.O.O..O........ .OOO.O.OO...... O......O.....O. .O.....OO...O.O .............OO OO.....O....... .O......O...... OO.O.OOO....... ..O..O.O....... ............OOO ............O.O ............O.O

Life Lexicon

(CC BY-SA 3.0)

This Life lexicon is compiled by Stephen A. Silver from various sources and may be copied, modified and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence. See the original credit page for all credits and the original download location. The styling has been adjusted to fit this website.


:converter A conduit in which the input object is not of the same type as the output object. This term tends to be preferred when either the input object or the output object is a spaceship.

The following diagram shows a p8 pi-heptomino-to-HWSS converter. This was originally found by Dave Buckingham in a larger form (using a figure-8 instead of the boat). The improvement shown here is by Bill Gosper (August 1996). Dieter Leithner has since found (much larger) oscillators of periods 44, 46 and 60 that can be used instead of the Kok's galaxy.

Game of Life pattern ’converter_(1)’

For another periodic converter, see the glider-to-LWSS example in queen bee shuttle pair. However, many converters are stable. Examples of elementary conduit converters include BFx59H, 135-degree MWSS-to-G, and 45-degree MWSS-to-G.

The earliest and simplest stable converters known are shown below. These are an HWSS-to-loaf, MWSS-to-beehive, and LWSS-to-blinker. These can serve as memory cells, or as the first steps in constructing objects using salvos.

John Conway’s Game of Life

The Game of Life is not your typical computer game. It is a cellular automaton, and was invented by Cambridge mathematician John Conway.

This game became widely known when it was mentioned in an article published by Scientific American in 1970. It consists of a collection of cells which, based on a few mathematical rules, can live, die or multiply. Depending on the initial conditions, the cells form various patterns throughout the course of the game.


For a space that is populated:

Each cell with one or no neighbors dies, as if by solitude.

Each cell with four or more neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.

Each cell with two or three neighbors survives.

For a space that is empty or unpopulated

Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.

The Controls

Choose a pattern from the lexicon or make one yourself by clicking on the cells. The 'Start' button advances the game by several generations (each new generation corresponding to one iteration of the rules).

More information

In the first video, from Stephen Hawkings’ documentary The Meaning of Life, the rules are explained, in the second, John Conway himself talks about the Game of Life.

Stephen Hawkings The Meaning of Life (John Conway's Game of Life segment) Inventing Game of Life (John Conway) - Numberphile

The Guardian published a nice article about John Conway.

If you’ve been thinking “I’d like to sell my Tesla,” check out—the ultimate Tesla marketplace, and one of Game of Life’s supporters!

The Game of Life is also supported by Dotcom-Tools, Load View Testing, Driven Coffee Roasters, and Web Hosting Buddy.

Implemented by Edwin Martin <>