Nicodemus Madehdou went to the White House yesterday to show off his mobile game, Turbo Finger Swipe.
Madehdou, 19, a senior at New Foundations Charter School, was one of 20 young game developers of color who won a $1,000 grant to keep building socially-minded game projects.
It’s part of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s LOFT (Leaders on the Fast Track) Video Game Innovation Fellowship and all 20 presented their games at the White House Thursday. Madehdou’s Turbo Finger Swipe is geared toward kindergarteners and other young students, tackling the issue of early childhood education.
As part of the fellowship, Madehdou will be flown to Los Angeles for the ESA conference next summer.
He’s also the cofounder of Jumpbutton Studio, which is building a memory-tracking app called MEmory that’s inspired by a local man who has episodic memory loss.
Madehdou, who lives in the Northeast, was also a summer Urban Apps and Maps Fellow at Temple. Though he learned coding through Apps and Maps and through Code Academy, he focuses more on running Jumpbutton and doing quality assurance, he told us via email.
When asked how he got into game development, he said, “At some point in a gamers life, we make the decision to make games instead of play them because of how awesome everything is.”
His favorite games are Borderlands 2 for the story and Grand Theft Auto 5 for the “open world experience.”