Raspberry Pi Game of Life Project: in Honor of John Conway

(Image credit: Nick Kelly)

Renowned mathematician John Conway, creator of the Game of Life, passed away on April 11. In honor of Conway and his work, software engineer Nick Kelly shared a Game of Life project designed to run on the Raspberry Pi.

Conway created the Game of Life in 1970. It uses a fixed set of rules to change cells in a grid. The cells can live, die, or multiply on each turn. It receives input only at the beginning, after which the player can watch their creation unfold and evolve. 

This project uses a 16 x 16 LED grid for the cell display, which is comprised of four separate 8 x 8 LED panels from Adafruit. Each Adafruit panel uses Adafruit's FadeCandy dithering chip. 

LEDs are illuminated when a cell is alive and off when a cell is marked dead. Kelly used a Raspberry Pi 2, but any Raspberry Pi model would work for this project, including the latest  iteration, the Raspberry Pi 4.

Kelly first created his project in 2015 but shared it again for any interested parties in light of Conway's death. You can explore the code used on GitHub and recreate this project yourself. Follow Kelly on his official website for updates and more Pi projects.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.