82-year old Masako Wakamiya from Japan
82-year old Masako Wakamiya from Japan

Japanese, 82, builds a game app for fellow seniors

Breaking News June 06, 2017 12:10

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation
San Jose

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The oldest attendee at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference being held in San Jose, California, is 82-year old Masako Wakamiya from Japan, who created a mobile game called Hinadan for people in her age group. 

Available for download from the Apple Store, Hinadan is about preparing for Hinamatsuri, the annual Girls’ Day holiday during which dolls are elaborately displayed. A hina dan is a platform in a tiered showcase.

Wakamiya told fellow developers she’d noticed the lack of mobile games specifically of interest to seniors and decided to fill the gap.

“There are all sorts of game apps for young people and younger adults, so I wanted to develop one for seniors and families,” she said.

Wakamiya said her chief difficulty was her poor English, a barrier even more daunting in creating the app than the program coding. 

She started working on Hinadan five or six months ago after learning how to write code. Her teacher lived hundreds of kilometres from her, so they used Skype and electronic message services. 

“I saw there weren’t a lot of senior-friendly applications available, so I got interested in building one and discussed the idea with my friends, who were very supportive,” said Wakamiya.

Attending the conference for the first time, she said she hoped to learn more about creating applications.

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