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10.12. What is Core War?

Core War is a game in which players compete to write the most vicious computer program. The programs are written in an assembly language called RedCode and run in a simulated computer. The object of the game is to cause opposing programs to terminate, leaving your program in sole possession of the machine. This is pure hacker fun; it's sort of like writing your own virus without going to jail.

Core War has been around for many years and is available for dozens of computer systems. Not surprisingly, you can also play Core War via the Internet versus other hackers. The Internet's ongoing Core War tourney is called King of the Hill. Once you've written a nasty RedCode program, you can send it via electronic mail to the King of the Hill server, which pits your program against 20 others on "the hill." Replies via electronic mail indicate how your program fares.

Core War is only for true hackers. If the following example program doesn't frighten you,

;name Dwarf
;author A. K. Dewdney
;strategy Throw DAT bombs around memory, hitting every 4th memory cell.
bomb  DAT   #0
dwarf ADD   #4,    bomb
      MOV   bomb, @bomb
      JMP   dwarf
      END   dwarf ; Programs start at the first line unless
                  ; an "END start" pseudo-op appears to indicate
                  ; the first logical instruction.
find out more about Core War and King of the Hill by getting the Core War FAQ via FTP as follows:

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