n. 1. A cellular-automata game invented by John Horton Conway and first introduced publicly by Martin Gardner ('Scientific American', October 1970). Many hackers pass through a stage of fascination with it, and hackers at various places contributed heavily to the mathematical analysis of this game (most notably Bill Gosper at MIT, who even implemented life in TECO!; see Gosperism). When a hacker mentions 'life', he is much more likely to mean this game than the magazine, the breakfast cereal, or the human state of existence.