The Game of life is a simple set of mathematical rules which can generate very complex, unpredictable behavior.

It is interesting because the laws of physics are also very simple, and also give rise to incredibly complex things, such as human society, everything. If you could create an initial setting to the game of life that would eventually change into a turning machine which implemented a strong ai, what would be the status of a picture of that initial bit pattern?
It was created by John Conway.

Rules to the Game of Life

These are the rules to the game of life. This formulation of the rules is easy to understand and makes a lot more sense to me than the traditional explanation.
Definition: The Neighbors of a cell are the live cells touching it, either orthagonally or diagonally.

setup: start with a grid, with each cell either alive(black) or dead(white).

Explanation: Each grid is a frame in an animation. The next frame is created using the current one.

Rule to generate the next frame from the current one:
2 neighbors - same
3 neighbors - alive
else - dead

Procedure: apply the rules to every cell in the current grid, and write the result into the same cell on the new grid.

From one frame to the next:
  • If a cell has exactly 2 neighbors, it will not change.
  • If a cell has exactly 3 neighbors, it will become alive.
  • In any other situation, the cell is dead in the next frame.