- Title: The 9-year-old Nigerian coder who creates games
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) GAME DEVELOPER, BASIL OKPARA JNR, SAYING: ''I started coding this year and it was a bootcamp that taught me how to code, the name of the bootcamp 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.''
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 15:05
- Keywords: game developer Frog Attack Google Playstore Basil Okpara Scratch Falling Apples coding
- Location: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- City: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Video Games
- Reuters ID: LVA005AU4V1AV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Basil Okpara Jnr loves video games, but he loves making them even more. At the age of 9, the Nigerian boy has created dozens of games. He called the first one 'Frog Attack' - the players shoots 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," he says.
Within four months of 'Frog Attack', Basil has created 34 other games using a free coding application called 'Scratch 2'.
Scratch 2 allows users to create games, animation, and other digital stories, online or off-line.
In April 2019, Basil's father signed him up for a bootcamp called 'Codefest' where he learnt coding, computer programming, and how to create mobile games and other skills.
The bootcamp was aimed at young Nigerians of ages 5-15.
''I started coding this year and it was 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,'' says Basil.
Africa is the world's last major untapped market for Internet access. Only 16 percent of its billion people use the Internet, according to the International Telecommunication Union.
Analysts say technological innovation is a quick way to attain lasting economic growth and development and should be exploited further to help Nigeria diversify away from oil.
Basil's most recent game is the "Falling Apples'' where a player tries to catch as many apples as one possibly can, and gets a point for every apple caught.
"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,' he says.''
During his spare time he puts other kid coders through the paces of game programming.
Basil's dad is a consultant and public speaker, he first found out about his son's love for games at age 4, then went on to invest in getting him a tablet, then a desk top, and most recently a laptop of his own.
''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 write codes, being able to build things, being able to programme robots, to programme something to behave the way you want it to behave is very exciting. So I did not have that opportunity growing up so I felt like it was important to support him to do whatever he wants to do,'' says Basil Snr.
''I want to be a scientist when I grow up and I want to build robots and other things like self-driving motorbikes and bicycles and also bicycles that can move on land and also can fly,'' he says.
Basil is on instagram as @bjrgames and his games will be on Google Playstore by mid-September.
(Seun Sanni, Angela Ukomadu)
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