The Game of Life is an example of 2-D cellular automata and has been shown to have parallels with the biological world. Researchers debate the role of boundary conditions in large universes on the patterns and behaviors observed there.

Richard L. Bowman in his paper examined the effects of various boundary conditions on small worlds, 25 X 25 cells or smaller, and illustrated the dramatically different behavior resulting from an identical starting arrangement of cells (seed), the R-pentamino.

The boundary conditions are referred to by their geometric analogs: torus, box, loop, and Möbius strip.