The Game of Life

  • Richard J. Gaylord
  • Kazume Nishidate


The Game of Life is the exemplar of a cellular automaton (CA) and hence serves as a good starting point for our work with cellular automaton programming. Originally developed by John Conway, a British mathematician, the Game of Life was supposedly the first program run on a parallel processing computer. In fact, it has been estimated that more computer time has been spent running the Game of Life program than any other computer program. While the Game of Life is an abstract “toy” system that has not (yet) been found to directly represent any specific natural system, it has been the springboard for the study of so-called “artificial life” systems because of the amazingly complex behaviors displayed by some of the patterns that occur during the running of the CA. We will implement the Game of Life CA in the fastest high-level way we know of, by generating and using a lookup table consisting of 512 rules for updating sites on the Game of Life lattice.


Lattice Site Cellular Automaton Life Form Center Site Lookup Table 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Gaylord, Richard J. and Wellin, Paul R. Computer Simulations with Mathematical Explorations in Complex Physical and Biological Systems. TELOS/Springer-Verlag (1995).Google Scholar
  2. Poundstone, William. The Recursive Universe. Oxford University Press (1985).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Gaylord
    • 1
  • Kazume Nishidate
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Materials ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbana-Champaign, UrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringIwate UniversityMorioka 020Japan

Personalised recommendations