- A community for Conway's Game of Life and related cellular automata
A community for Conway's Game of Life and related cellular automata
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Choose pattern:
Current Pattern: Sir Robin
The first elementary spaceship to be found that travels at a direction other than orthogonal (side-to-side or up-and-down) or diagonal with slope 1. Won the 2018 Pattern of the Year contest. More info on LifeWiki

Conway's Game of Life is a cellular automaton that is played on a 2D square grid. Each square (or "cell") on the grid can be either alive or dead, and they evolve according to the following rules:

  • Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies (referred to as underpopulation).
  • Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies (referred to as overpopulation).
  • Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives, unchanged, to the next generation.
  • Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours comes to life.

The initial configuration of cells can be created by a human, but all generations thereafter are completely determined by the above rules. The goal of the game is to find patterns that evolve in interesting ways – something that people have now been doing for over 50 years.

The best way to first learn about the game is to play it, either via the LifeViewer above, or by downloading the Life simulation program Golly. Draw some patterns and then press the "Play" button to see how they evolve. Once you have gotten comfortable with the game, you can have a look at LifeWiki or Catagolue to browse what is known about it, or you can read the book for a more directed guide to the world of Life.

Most new Life discoveries are announced and discussed on the forums and on the Conwaylife Lounge Discord server.