This is one of the first examples of cellular automata. Originally described as a zero-player game, John Conway devised it in 1970. As with most CA, the setup is very simple - there are two states: living (white) and dead (black). The grid is randomly seeded with the two states, and then the update rules are structured as follows: A living cell will die if it has fewer than two living neighbors, of 'lonliness'. A living cell with exactly two living neighbors continues on living, a living cell with more than three living neighbors is 'overcrowded' and dies. A dead cell with three living neighbors becomes a living cell. Through this simple ruleset, as you can see above, there is a great diversity in the patterns created, organic-looking movement, gliders, stable periodic oscillators, even stable, static patterns.