The Fated Game of Life

The mathematics within nature have always fascinated me because of their simplicity and beauty. The beautiful patterns of seashells formed from the fibonacci sequence or the hexagonal patterns of honeycombs are made because of their efficiency and simplicity. The Fated Game of Life is an exploration of John Conway’s Game of Life, by seeing how simple rules can be channeled to form beautiful images.

John Conway’s game of life is a computer program that runs on very simple rules. It is an application of Cellular Automata. The program creates a canvas (a grid), that creates a “cell” in each square. The number of adjacent cells determines whether that cell gets to live or die. When layed out randomly, an fascinating simulation of life occurs:

To expand on this idea, I took the rules of the game of life, and created additional rulesets and differentiated them by color. The result is several games of life that all behave differently:



Next, I created an algorithm that draws from a set of images and divides the selected one into several layers of colors. The results are as below.


Finally, the two different algorithms were combined so that each layer is assigned to a different ruleset. By doing so, the algorithm begins to generate imagery. This particular project revolves around the generation of Japanese paintings, as each color of the painting is clearly independent from the others but still comes together to create cohesive imagery strongly compliments the way in which cellular automata is able to spread apart while still being a cohesive piece.