Age has never been a barrier to being exceptional and nine year old Basil Okpara is an example. The young Nigerian Tech who is a serial game developer has made use of what he had learnt in a five day boot camp organised for children aged five to fifteen. Basil’s interest in creating games became more pronounced when he was seven years old. At this time, he was always being scolded for spending all of his time playing games on phone until his father enrolled him at a camp organised by Codefest International.
The camp was put in place to give children like Basil access to emerging technologies like robotics and virtual reality. From the comfort of his home which is located in Lagos State, Nigeria’s Commerical Centre, the nine year old has reported to have built games with the help of a free programming application called Scratch 2, which allows users to create games, animations and stories online and offline. It is said that it only takes Basil 30 minutes to create a mobile game. So far it is reported that he has used it to generate more than 30 mobile games.
Speaking with CNN, he said:
” I learned how to build games at a Boot Camp, now I build to keep me busy when I am bored.” His father Basil Okpara Sr spoke of his son’s love for mobile games:
“Growing up, Basil used to play a lot of mobile games. I bought him a tablet when he was four years old because I saw that he was always grabbing phones to play games with. He played Candy Crush and Temple Run a lot.”
Speaking further he explained that:
” There was this day he was on the tablet as usual, he was so carried away with the game he was playing that I got upset with him. Out of annoyance, I said to him “you are always playing games, can’t you think about building your own games so others can play yours too?. I was angry when I said it, and I did not he took it seriously.”
Basil then took up his father’s challenge and paid more attention and interest to learning how to make his own games. This prompted his parents to buy him a laptop and register him to learning the first steps to building games. He titles his games based on what they are about. The games are reported to be still in their raw stage and can presently be accessed on computers that have Scratch 2 installed. It is also reported (since the interview was a few months ago) by his father that one of Basil’s games named Frog Attack is now meant to be available to the public on Google Play Store from August already.
Basil’s desire is to be a Scientist in the future.