Monday, January 19, 2015

Mushroom Life

Here is a fun game to keep you a little occupied.

A mushroom spaceship, or "a weekender"
Maybe if you are one of the ten people who follow my facebook page, or google+, or any of my social media accounts, you might come to the conclusion that I'm obsessed with this game this morning. Which is very true, and it's one of the few math games I can get away with playing at work and claim that I'm being productive.

John Conway's Game of Life is a zero player game where the initial state is chosen by a person and then AI is allowed to take over and create many patterns. Someone modified the game a bit, so that pins would become mushrooms in a couple generations. I really want to find the person who made this game, and failing in that I want to steal this code. Is it still wrong if your honest about your intentions to do wrong?

 
The final stages of an exploder
I introduced a coworker to the original game this morning, and he came back to me with this version. The both of us being mushroom dorks, this was a fun version to use. At first it was disappointing because it was too small and can't handle a small glider gun. As I sat and watch the patterns evolve across the screen, I started to recognize some of the patterns. This is what happens when you spend three years watching mushrooms grow. Mushroom farming is a zero player game in which the outcome is controlled by the initial state.

It's still a complex system, and the rules are different. But if the super complexity is ignored for a moment, stuff like nutrition in the soil and the presence of predators, then outcome of setting up the original box is something amazing to watch. The health of the mycelicum, where water collects in a bed, all of that and more create the patterns that occur.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds "interesting"... reminds us a bit of the "Evolution" aspect of the old game "Sim World"...(Would really like to find a playable copy of that one...)
    ... Some of your posts ( or portions there of) are a bit "over my head" ... But we do enjoy learning New things and like your "take" on these "Topics"... ( not so fond of Math , rather good at "numbers" ... just do not enjoy them)...

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  2. The ideas for games are infinite. I tend to go overboard if I start playing a game so I avoid them. It's good to have a game to play while doing other things like talking on the phone. Probably won't be "growing" mushrooms though. Have fun with yours.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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