I want to shout for a bit about a developing project that myself and my peer and good friend Matt have started called the Integrated Game of Life Universe (IGLU for short). This is a project we’re both extremely excited about for several reasons; primarily, though, because what we are doing is currently unique among all things on the internet.
The idea behind IGLU is to take something simple, elegant, fascinating and turn it into something complicated, messy, crazy, and also equally fascinating. If you haven’t heard of Conway’s Game of Life, I implore you to take a look at it; it is one of the most rapturous ideas in the world. Simple rules are applied to a grid of coloured squares to make a player-less “game” which has an entirely predictable behaviour, but from one simple rule arise other rules and patterns which reveal yet more (this is known as emergent behaviour and is completely fascinating in it’s own right). As one looks deeper and deeper, one sees more and more how fundamental to our understanding of the universe a few squares on a computer screen can become. Our idea is to extend it – to go where few people have gone before. Why be satisfied with a flat, 2D representation when we can form it in glorious 3D? Why put up with expensive supercomputers and hyper efficient programs when we can make the computing user-driven?
Our idea is to take Conway’s Game of Life, and engage new people with a project that not only demonstrates something as beautiful and complex as the original, but new and intriguing. We want to move from a 2D ‘universe’ to 3D, but we want to make it 3D on a massive scale – a scale that nobody has made computations for so far. We want to make it something that a lay community can access and enjoy on a daily basis; from their electronic devices, any time, anywhere. We want the project to act as an ambassador for science and mathematics to the wider public; by using the Game of Life to demonstrate the fundamental and important (sometimes philosophical) insights that science can bring about. We want this to be engaging, especially due to the fact that the project will directly involve the public; each individual will make a very definite impact on the simulation and the results. This will, hopefully, be user-participation on a grand scale – and all the better for it 😀
It’s an ambitious project. It’s run by two Physics students in the South of England. It’s utterly crazy. But we’ve got ourselves a computer and a keyboard (and an Android phone), and there’s where all the best things start. The Alpha version is already in development!
Will you join us on our crazy mission to enthrall the world with an insane idea and some really hard work? We cordially invite you to come along for the ride; all it will take is an Android device, and some patience.
Our first informational post can be found here!