When we left off in my last post Conway’s Mysterious Game of Life, the small group of mathematicians lead by John Conway had just sat down to test his new rules.

Soon after beginning the new game came the cry “It’s walking!”!

Mathematician Richard Kenneth Guy was the first to discover the Glider while exploring Conway’s new world.

Like Dr. Frankenstein coming face to face with the monster of his own making, Conway was finally staring his creation in the face!

How did he do it? What makes it work?

### Conway’s Rules:

- Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if caused by underpopulation.
- Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.
- Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
- Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

### Conway’s Creature

As a result of Conway’s Rules the “Glider” was the first simulated self-organizing construct sometimes called a “Spaceship“. Conway later dubbed the game “Life” after observing a version that had been programmed into a mainframe computer.

### The Moore Neighborhood

Conway’s Game of Life uses the Moore Neighborhood, which consists of all 8 squares directly around the cell you are computing for.

The basic strategy is to count how many “alive” cells are around the current cell to figure out what the next generation should be.

Then based on the number of neighbors the cell has, change it to alive or dead if a change is required.

According to the rules, if there are exactly 3 “alive” neighbors it should become “alive” too.

If it is already alive then stay alive if it has 2 or 3 “alive” neighbors, otherwise in all other cases the next value will be “dead”.

It sounds more difficult than it really is, let me demonstrate using the glider.

### Generation 0

### Generation 1

### Generation 2

### Generation 3

### Generation 4

At this point you can see that we are now back to the initial pattern, but the glider has moved to the right by 1 column and down by 1 row. I have animated the stills below so you can see it walk with the calculation showing.

### Animated

So now that we are ready to start looking at code, I am going to end this post here and pick up tomorrow where we left off.

Have a great evening everyone!

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I will see you all in my next post!

Much Love,

~Joy