The Game of Life

Is life a game? To many underprivileged and desperate people that ‘game’ is the game of survival- where can I find food? Yet few who are reading this post I dare say are in that circumstance. Rather, they might be in the game of upgrading their life, not life itself. We in Western democracies are essentially in the upgrade business- new TV, new Smart phone, new car, new clothes, new restaurant…

In the 1970’s a British mathematician, John Conroy, experimented with early, ie. primitive, computing programming and developed what today looks like rudementary Pacman. Except that there is no “input.” And if there is no input, then it is actually not a ‘game.’ You watch. 

Here is one example of the game. Hit ‘play’ and watch.
Below are two games I generated,  microseconds apart.

 As creator I merely “Big Bang” and let the computer rules flow along until…well, until either it continues forever or dies out. I generated a game which, after about a minute appeared ‘dead’ when, seemingly out of no where, a comet or asteroid blasted me back to life! As I type this, my game is in the 6000th generation and appears dead, but I cannot see what is happening beyond the boundaries of my computer screen. 


Those blue squares scattered among the dead green ones are alive but not going anywhere nor are they reproducing. Unless some moving pieces (glider) contacts these blue, static pieces, they are doomed to a life of eternal blinking.

Was planet Earth ‘struck’ by a glider eons ago which breathed life onto our lifeless world? Is this what those many creation myths meant from our ancient ancestors scattered throughout the globe? That something impacted Mother Earth and she gave birth?


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