May 14, 2012 AT 8:31 am

Life in Life: Conway’s Game of Life Self-Similarity

Call it Monday Morning AutoMata. This great simulation of Conway’s Game of Life which runs a smaller game inside itself. phlipping writes:

A video of Conway’s Game of Life, emulated in Conway’s Game of Life.

Inspired by this video: I made a similar video, but with the speed and scale varying smoothly over time, rather than in discrete jumps as the original video did.

The life simulator used is Golly – which has a built-in script to generate these metapixel grids (select a pattern, and choose “” from the scripts list). For more information about the metapixel pattern, see

The actual video is exported from Golly using a custom Python script: (since Golly built-in only supports rendering the view with a scale which is a power of 2, for performance reasons – this is not a particularly well-optimised or fast script to run).

The audio track is a Shepard Tone:
This is also generated by a Python script:

I can’t help but think how cool this would be projected (or installed) on the side of a building opposite a waterfront or canal. :)

[via G+]

editor’s note: original quote contained a bad link to the Shepard Tone WP page, so I fixed it. All other quote content is directly from the YouTube video.



  1. it’s gliders all the way down

  2. When you quoted the description from youtube it included a youtube redirect for the wikipedia link.

  3. @sparr: weird, but fixed now — thx!

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