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atari yars

Game of Life versions

Group Description

Various implementations of John Horton Conway's mathematical cellular automata simulation the Game of Life (and not the Milton-Bradley board game of the same name.)

John Horton Conway's inspirations for this game included John Von Neumann's notion of self-replicating machines and John Leech's problems in group theory.

Upon initial publication, Conway offered a $50 prize to anyone who could devise a pattern within the year that would grow and expand indefinitely -- a prize claimed by Bill Gosper of MIT and since expanded to a wide range of "guns" and "gliders."

A curious side-effect of these growing patterns is that the conditions provided by the stock rules of the Game of Life make it a Universal Turing machine, predictable cell population movements providing analogues to counters, logic gates and finite state machines.

The first computer implementation of Conway's Life, in 1970 quick on the heels of the game's initial introduction, was made for the PDP-7 by M. J. T. Guy and S. R. Bourne.


The Game of Life was originally conceived using plates put on Conway's tiled kitchen floor.

Information also contributed by Игги Друге and Pseudo_Intellectual

Selected Covers

Game of Life iPhone Front Cover
Front cover for Game of Life
Hodj 'n' Podj Windows 3.x Front Cover
Front cover for Hodj 'n' Podj
Life Xbox 360 Front Cover
Front cover for Life

Selected Screenshots

The game starts with a shareware nag screen
Screenshot from Cell War
A user-created pattern.
Screenshot from Golly
When the game starts, no cells are initially loaded.
Screenshot from PMLIFE
Title Screen
Screenshot from Cosmic Life
Game rules, initial population conditions (Francois Coppex's version)
Screenshot from Conway's Game of Life
Game group created by Pseudo_Intellectual (64692), additional games added to group by piltdown_man (208995), Rik Hideto (469854), Sciere (801754), Alaka (90925), Kabushi (257726), Игги Друге (46309), JudgeDeadd (27972), vedder (59643) and Tracy Poff (2062)
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