Talented George makes gaming festival debut

George le Bon (11) has programmed a game which has been selected for the Norwich Gaming Festival. Pi

George le Bon (11) has programmed a game which has been selected for the Norwich Gaming Festival. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Many parents would concede that their children have a better handle on technology and the world of gaming than they do.

Daniel Scales from The Forum, Ancha Joof festival volunteer, Dr Tom Phillips from UEA, George Beard

Daniel Scales from The Forum, Ancha Joof festival volunteer, Dr Tom Phillips from UEA, George Beard from NUA, Emily Cornthwaite festival volunteer, Dean Bowman from UEA, Danny Mcilwrath from The Forum and James Coates from The Forum. Picture: Chris Taylor - Credit: Archant

And now one talented youngster from Dereham is proving age is no barrier to success as he will be rubbing shoulders with some of the top professionals in the gaming industry at the Norwich Gaming Festival at The Forum next week.

George Le Bon, who has just turned 11, will be the youngest exhibitor at this year's festival having designed, coded and programmed a project called The Laser Labyrinth.

After learning game coding at his school, Scarning Primary, he created the game which challenges the player to move a ball through various mazes.

It has just been selected to be exhibited in the Warp Zone section of the festival for designers aged under 16.

And festival organiser Daniel Scales said he was 'by far' the youngest designer.

'The rest of them in the Warp Zone are at least five years older,' he said. 'We found that because we do an application process for professional designers to exhibit we started getting projects from younger people. So we created the Warp Zone for them.

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'The emphasis is to encourage young people. George's game works well, he is enthusiastic about game design and it gives him the chance to talk to professional developers about pursuing a career in games.'

George said he went to the festival for the first time last year. 'I got really into it and played lots of retro games,' he said. 'It did inspire me and in year 6 we started learning how to do Scratch which is a way of programming.

'In my game you have to get a ball through a maze and into another maze until you get to the finish.

'It took me quite a few days. I do some at home and some at school but mostly at computer club after school.'

He said his teacher, Gail Bartlett, had helped enormously with the coding process and particularly when he came up against problems.

'At one point it just did not work and I could not figure out what was wrong but we eventually worked it out and it was really satisfying seeing it work,' said George, who will be exhibiting on March 28 and March 31.

'I really feel very excited about the festival and I hope lots of people come and play my game because I want to make more in the series.

'This is something I would really like to do as a career when I grow up.'

* Are you a young person with an interesting talent? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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