Core War


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Core War

(games)
(Or more recently, "Core Wars") A game played between assembly code programs running in the core of a simulated machine (and vicariously by their authors). The objective is to kill your opponents' programs by overwriting them.

The programs are written using an instruction set called "Redcode" and run on a virtual machine called "MARS" (Memory Array Redcode Simulator).

Core War was devised by Victor Vyssotsky, Robert Morris Sr., and Dennis Ritchie in the early 1960s (their original game was called "Darwin" and ran on a PDP-1 at Bell Labs). It was first described in the "Core War Guidelines" of March, 1984 by D. G. Jones and A. K. Dewdney of the Department of Computer Science at The University of Western Ontario (Canada).

Dewdney wrote several "Computer Recreations" articles in "Scientific American" which discussed Core War, starting with the May 1984 article. Those articles are contained in the two anthologies cited below. A.K. Dewdney's articles are still the most readable introduction to Core War, even though the Redcode dialect described in there is no longer current.

The International Core War Society (ICWS) creates and maintains Core War standards and the runs Core War tournaments. There have been six annual tournaments and two standards (ICWS'86 and ICWS'88).

["The Armchair Universe: An Exploration of Computer Worlds", A. K. Dewdney, W. H. Freeman, New York, 1988, ISBN 0-7167-1939-8, LCCN QA76.6 .D517 1988]

["The Magic Machine: A Handbook of Computer Sorcery", A. K. Dewdney, W. H. Freeman, New York, 1990, ISBN 0-7167-2125-2 (Hardcover), 0-7167-2144-9 (Paperback), LCCN QA76.6 .D5173 1990].
References in periodicals archive ?
Additionally, N4 provides leadership in helping our Navy address future fiscal challenges while sustaining readiness and enhancing future core war fighting capabilities.
Indeed, Sonoco and Newark are generating considerable heat with aggressive marketing campaigns that have set off a kind of Core War.
The present-day computer virus probably had its start in the late 1950s and early '60s in what has been termed the Core War. The name Core War refers to what, on one level, is called a game and on another, a destructive program designed to destroy the operation of another program.
Since the description in January'scolumn of the first international Core War tournament, membership in the International Core Wars Society has quadrupled, according to its director, Mark Clarkson.
And as the number of credit unions dwindles, the core wars have grown more intense.
"The core wars have long been over, and the notion of more cores leading to more power in a device have changed over time," said Mark Shedd, Director of Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies.
A Forgotten Front of the Core Wars: The Battle for a Truly Common Core in the Arts & Sciences.
Bell Labs employees gave life to von Neumann's theory in the 1950s in a game they called "Core Wars." In this game, two programmers would unleash software "organisms" and watch as they vied for control of the computer.
They hatched self-replicating electronic "organisms." The programmers watched their creations fight for control of a computer in a bizarre after-hours experiment called "Core Wars."
In addition, there will be a contest in which computer programs compete for the occupation of memory according to the standards of the International Core Wars Society.