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The Game of Life: New Chromatic Projection Method

I’ve been interested in The Game of Life ever since I heard about it back in the 70s/80s. It was some time around when my dad bought us our first personal computers. The Game of Life was invented by the mathematician, John Horton Conway, as he worked upon a way of modeling life-like behaviors within a simple field of rules. Conway’s Game of Life was popularized by Martin Gardner — the well-known writer of a popular science column in Scientific American.

Tons of hobbyists and computer programmers cut their eye-teeth by playing the Game of Life through programs copied out of magazines onto their PCs. I recall copying one of these programs out of a computer magazine into either our Timex-Sinclair 1000 or Commodore 64. I can’t recall whether it was Dr. Dobb’s or one of the myriad specialty Commodore zines that my dad was always buying.

Cellular AutomataAnyway, my aunt Amelia recently gave me a book for Christmas from my Amazon want list – it was New Constructions in Cellular Automata (Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity Proceedings) — a few different papers all nicely bound up by the Santa Fe Institute. (I’m a big fan of quite a few theories regarding Complexity, Economics, Biology, etc which have come out of the Santa Fe Institute.) After looking over the papers from various researchers that have studied different aspects of Cellular Automata, I started thinking that it could be worthwhile to set up the Game of Life with some color/display elements which can help with predictive display of Life grouping evolution. I’ve written a little program that does this, so read on if you’re interested.

Glider Pattern, Game of Life
Glider Pattern animated
with color path projection


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