John Conway's Game of Life implemented in Ruby with Gosu. The Game of Life is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. Read more on Wikipedia.


Installing and Running

It can be installed as a Ruby Gem and run with the following commands.

gem install nanolife

Alternatively, you can get the source and build the gem yourself.

git clone
cd NanoLife
gem build nanolife.gemspec
gem install nanolife-1.0.0.gem


  • s - Start and stop (pause) the game
  • c - Clear the grid
  • r - Randomize the grid
  • Left Click - Invert the state of the cell clicked
  • q/Esc - Quit


Gosu gem dependency will require native build tools. In Windows that means having the Ruby DevKit which can be downloaded from and in Debian Linux installing build-essential, libsdl2-dev, libsdl-ttf-dev, libopenal-dev, libpango1.0-dev, libsndfile-dev, and ruby-dev packages.

# In Debian based Linux
sudo apt-get install build-essential libsdl2-dev \
libsdl2-ttf-dev libopenal-dev libpango1.0-dev \
libsndfile-dev ruby-dev

On Mac, install SDL2 with Brew before installing the gem.

brew install sdl2

Source Code

Ruby Gem