Life vs. Life
Justin Bakse and Eric Williams

A two player version of John Conway's mathematical game of Life," a classic cellular automata game. The rules are simple. The game is played on a field of cells, each of which has eight neighbors (adjacent cells). A cell is either occupied (by an organism) or not. The rules for deriving a generation from the previous one are:

• If an occupied cell has 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 occupied neighbors, the organism dies (0, 1: of loneliness; 4 thru 8: of overcrowding).
• If an occupied cell has two or three neighbors, the organism survives to the next generation.
• If an unoccupied cell has three occupied neighbors, it becomes occupied—birth.

Conways' program, while called a game, is not normally played as a competitive or two-person game. In fact, it is also credited as the first computer virus because of its autonomously replicating nature. The innovation on the part of Eric Williams and Justin Bakse with "Life vs. Life" is to add the element of competition by allowing users to create life programs that battle it out—to the death—and then tracking the fittest survivors—a kind of Darwinian shooter game for cellular automata.

project homepage:
keywords: interactive-patterns-algorithmic-pop_culture-automata-
historical software for the Internet
category: games/deconstruction and modification
uploaded by mediachef, 03 Dec 2004

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