NINE YEAR-OLD NIGERIAN CREATES COMPUTER GAMES

By Paul Ndiho

A Nigerian boy has launched a “Hide and Seek” gaming app using a free programming application called ‘Scratch.’ His mobile game, which is accessible online, features animation and storytelling. He has incredibly created over 30 games.

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Basil Okpara Junior loves playing video games, but he loves making them even more. At the age of 9, he has created dozens of games. He called the first one ‘Frog Attack’ – gamers shoot alien frogs that have attacked the earth.

“Frog Attack is my favorite because it was my first game that I built on Construct 2 and it is full of action,”

Basil has created 34 other games using a free coding application called ‘Scratch 2’. Which allows users to create games, animation, and other digital stories, online or offline.

Earlier this year, Basil’s father signed him up for a Bootcamp called ‘Codefest’ where he learned coding, computer programming, and how to create mobile games and other skills. The Bootcamp targeted young Nigerians of ages 5 to 15.

“I started coding this year, and it was the first a boot camp that taught me how to code, the name of the boot camp was “Code Fest” and why I like to build games is because the games are much fun to play, and when I play them I feel like I am the owner of a game,”

Leapfrogging into technological innovation is a quick way to attain lasting economic growth and development, according to some tech experts. Basil’s most recent game is “Falling Apples”, where a player tries to catch as many apples as possible, receiving one point for each apple found.

“My mom and my dad have already tried my games, and they say that they love it, my mummy says she loves the falling apples, and my daddy says he loves the Frog Attack.”

During his spare time, he teaches other kid coders game programming skills. Like many kids his age, Basil’s biggest fan and inspiration is his father.

“When I found out that he is interested in technology, I was excited because I know that there is a huge potential in the technology industry around the world. You know being able to write code, being able to build things, being able to program robots, to program something to behave the way you want it to behave is very exciting.”

Basil has great potential to grow as a game developer — Especially in Africa, where only 16 percent of its 1.2 billion people use the internet, according to the International Telecommunication Union.

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