The Game of Life - John Horton Conway, 1970 - is a cellular automaton and a zero-player game (its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input).
The game's universe is an infinite 2 dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells. Each cell has two possible states: live or dead, and eight neighbours (the adjacent cells). The simulation assumes each cell outside the grid boundaries dead. The user can have the simulation consider the left-right edges stitched together and the top -bottom edges as well - toroid.
The user gives an initial seed by
  • specifying the number of cells to be set to live and letting the app create a random seed
  • choosing which cells on the grid to be live himself - right click on the cell to make it live, if you click it again, it dies
  • loading a previously saved configuration

Then he can observe this initial configuration evolve – die or reproduce. The rules are:
  • any live cell with fewer than 2 live neighbours, dies (under-population)
  • any live cell with morer than 3 live neighbours, dies (overcrowding)
  • any live cells with 2 or 3 live neighbours, lives on
  • any dead cell with exactly 3 neighbours, becomes live
The first generation is created by applying these rules simultaneously to every cell in the seed. Each generation is a pure function of the preceding one.

The user can:
  • see the generation
  • see the number of live cells
  • control the speed of the simulation
  • stop it
  • save a configuration
  • restart from zero


Last edited Feb 15, 2011 at 9:58 PM by mariagh, version 4


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