Game of Life

 Bill Gosper's Glider Gun in action—a variation of Conway's Game of Life.

I remember programming Conway’s game of life on my C64 after reading about the idea in a library of the Cycle d’Orientation (Geneva’s equivalent for junior high-school). The book contained some code expressed in a variant of Basic that was pretty different from the C64’s, so some serious adaptation was needed. I ended up staring at the patterns for some time.

Coding the rules of the game, and some display logic is a good exercise, and you can find various implementation on the web, including interactive, javascript versions. What is more interesting is that someone managed to implement the logic using the game of life itself, that is build a game of life configuration, that would, one level above, run the game of life. I think it is a nice illustration of complex systems, i.e. something complex simulated using a finite automata, or the fact on how we build complex system by composing simple ones.

Bill Gosper’s Glider Gun in action—a variation of Conway’s Game of Life. CC BY-SA 3.0

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