The Life Game: Coming soon in 2096

DISCLAIMER: I said I would do a post on normal numbers. Tomorrow. Promise.

Before I start, I would like to say that I own none of the images and gifs. They are all by Wikipedia.

I already did a post on Conway’s Game of Life, but it was years ago and I wasn’t very good at posting, so this is attempt 2.

John Horton Conway devised a cellular automaton in 1970. It is a zero-player game and is entirely dependent on the initial state. The Game of Life is just an observation of evolution.

The rules of the Game of Life is that:

  1. There are live cells and dead cells. Nothing else, no grey areas.
  2. The grid of cells is infinite.
  3. If a cell is underpopulated, with under two live neighbouring cells, it dies.
  4. Any live cell with either two or three live neighbouring cells live on to the next generation.
  5. If a cell is overpopulated, with over three live neighbouring cells, then it dies.
  6. If a dead cell has exactly three neighbouring live cells, it becomes alive, like reproduction.

The initial position of the cells decides how the pattern will evolve in future generations of the Game of Life.

There are certain interesting positions falling into three categories.


  • Block, a two by two square of cells
  • Beehive, a six-cell ellipse
  • Loaf… How do you explain this
  • Boat, I’m not going to try.
  • Tub, four cells surrounding one dead cell, like a plus sign.

By the way, all of these images/gifs are on the Wikipedia link here.


  • Blinker, a forever-rotating one by three line (period 2)
  • Toad… why. (period 2)
  • Beacon, two blocks (see above, in the “STILL LIFE” section) next to each other, touching in the corner, the attached corner cells blinking. (period 2)
  • Pulsar… this is really cool. (period 3)
  • Penta-decathlon… no (period 15)

The oscillators oscillate between different patterns.


  • Glider… How do I describe these spaceships?
  • Lightweight spaceship (LWSS)
  • Middleweight spaceship (MWSS)
  • Heavyweight spaceship (HWSS)

Spaceships continually move, changing forms or direction as they move.

There are more patterns than the ones listed above, like the acorn, which takes 5206 generations to generate 633 cells, with 13 escaped gliders.

There are so many gifs on Conway’s Game of Life, you should check out some of them!

All for today.


Credit to Wikipedia.

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