Conway’s Game of Life will live on

Conways’ Game of life is one of the best examples for a cellular automaton and artificial life. Simple rules creating complex behaviours one does not anticipate. That never gets boring!

The Game of Life by Conway from 1970 is one my personal favorites in this category. Unfortunately John Horton Conway died at age 82 on 11th of April 2020, reportedly from COVID-19 complications.

Seeing the news of his death probably triggered something almost nostalgic. Google led me to just another awesome example what can be implemented with these simple rules: a ‘digital’ (haha) clock.

It’s mainly based on the simple ‘glider’ construct. But this cellular automation is far from simple. Surely these gliders are representing the actual digit display, but the hard part comes with the actual representation of the actual states. Well I have to say, I did not go too much into detail but it is just amazing to see: little gliders are exchanged top down in this clockwork.

See for yourself if you like. There is a website of Life for javascript. The implementation of the clock can be found here and has to be imported in the website above. More information how the clock came into life can be found here.

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