You know Conway’s Game of Life. No, it’s not the one with the blue and pink pegs, and the little cars, and the harrowing life-choices made without a second thought upon the drawing of an arbitrary card. Conway’s Game of Life, also known as just “Life”, is the one with the clumps of blocks that keep morphing their size and shape, and sometimes even change color. Why don’t you just give it a Google and watch it slowly but surely take over your screen?
For the unfamilar, Conway’s Game of Life is a simple cellular life simulator. Each block represents a cell, and over the course of the game, each cell lives or dies based on 4 simple rules:
- Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
- Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
- Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
- Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
The result is the familiar morphing blocks that you’re sure to remember from a screen-saver, TI-83 calculator program, or that time you Googled “Conway’s Game of Life” like 30 seconds ago and it showed up on your screen.
Sure it’s pretty simple for a “game” partly because you don’t even get to play, but there’s something mesmerizing about watching it expand, and rooting for it to finally take over that far corner of the screen it’s been creeping towards for the last five minutes. Go waste some time with it, and thank Google for having such sweet Easter Eggs.