What makes the game of life so much better than other CA?

For general discussion about Conway's Game of Life.
Post Reply
gbagcn
Posts: 11
Joined: July 11th, 2010, 4:36 pm

What makes the game of life so much better than other CA?

Post by gbagcn » October 9th, 2010, 7:10 pm

Is it just a matter of history where the game of life was the first CA people were exposed to or is there something about the rules that makes it better. Many of the general properties of the game of life can also be found in other CA.

Paul Tooke
Posts: 111
Joined: May 19th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: What makes the game of life so much better than other CA?

Post by Paul Tooke » October 9th, 2010, 7:42 pm

gbagcn wrote:
What makes the game of life so much better than other CA?
The fact that it is so much more unpredictable than any randomly selected CA marks it out for distinction. It isn't so much that this particular CA is 'better', it's because it is more interesting than many. There are historical reasons here: John Conway was looking for a simple CA that could be demonstrated to be capable of Universal Computation. Having found one and describing it to Martin Gardner who popularised it through his Sci-Am articles it became the CA that a lot of folks chose to investigate. Over forty years later, people are still finding new and interesting things in this rule.

That said, you are correct: there are other rules which possess similar characteristics. They have just never found such a capable publicist.

Post Reply