# Game of Life: Explore Emergence

*Play cellular automata games based on John Conway’s Game of Life and learn key principles about emergence at The Emergent Universe, an online interactive science museum.*

## The Game of Life: It’s all about interactions!

Play cellular automata games based on John Conway’s Game of Life and learn key principles about emergence at The Emergent Universe, an online interactive science museum.

### Don’t the objects moving across the screen look alive?

In fact, these “objects” are created by individual squares on a fixed grid turning on (white) and off (black). The resultant “objects” move across the screen in the same way “the wave” moves through a sports stadium. The squares, like the people in the stadium, never move. They just turn on and off.

How do the squares know when to change color? [find out]

### Explore rules:

There is no central control telling these squares what to do. Instead, their organized behavior emerges from a simple set of rules. Each square’s fate in the next iteration is determined by the current state of its 8 neighboring squares.

#### Seeds Rules:

- If a square was on, it will turn off.
- If a square was off, it will turn on only if exactly 2 of its neighbors were on.

#### Life Rules:

- If a square was on, it will turn off unless 2 or 3 of its neighbors were on.
- If a square was off, it will turn on only if exactly 3 of its neighbors were on.

#### Explore starting patterns:

- 4square
- 5square
- blinker
- glidergun

Simple interactions between neighboring squares – feedback – can generate very complex behaviors, creating apparent “objects” that live and die. These organized behaviors arise even though there is no leader.