Play John Conway’s Game of Life

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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.

Splitter

:splitter A signal converter that accepts a single input signal and produces two or more output signals, usually of the same type as the input. An older term for this is fanout, or "fanout device".

A sub-category is the one-time splitter, which is not technically a converter because it can only be used once. One-time splitters are usually small constellations that produce two or more clean gliders when struck by a single glider. In other words, they are multi-glider seeds. These are important for constructing self-destruct circuitry in self-constructing spaceships.

The following combination, a syringe attached to an SE7T14 converter combined with an NW31 converter, is one of the smallest known glider splitters as of July 2018. Another small splitter with a 90-degree colour-changing output is shown under reflector.

Game of Life pattern ’splitter’

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.

Rules

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.


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Implemented by Edwin Martin <>