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Worm wars

Peter Ferrie, Frédéric Perriot, Péter Ször
Virus Bulletin, October 2003, pp. 10-13
ISSN 0956-9979
October 2003

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Around 1966 Robert Morris Sr., the future NSA chief scientist, decided to create a new game environment with two of his friends, Victor Vyssotsky and Dennis Ritchie. They coded it for the PDP-1 at Bell Labs, and named their game ‘Darwin’. Later ‘Darwin’ became ‘Core War’, a computer game played to this day by many programmers and mathematicians as well as hackers.

The object of the game is to kill your opponents’ programs by overwriting them. The original game is played between two programs written in the Redcode language, a form of assembly language. The warrior programs run in the core of a virtual machine called MARS (Memory Array Redcode Simulator). The fight between the warrior programs was referred to as Core Wars.

Well, the world used to be a better place with the fights between genies in a bottle. Who let the worms out?

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