RIYADH – At age fourteen, entrepreneur and virtual reality developer Winston Matthews already created two arcade games where he was the youngest software engineer at a startup in Silicon Valley.
Now he’s invited to build his third one with students at Misk Schools in Riyadh.
“I made two games and decided to make something with more impact,” he said in an interview with Saudi Gazette. After working at Virtual World Arcade, he says he was inspired to use virtual reality for a higher purpose.
At such a young age, he started his own company Winston Matthews LLC where he has raised $80,000 in angel funding and made it a life mission to provide education using digital technology for children who need it the most. He aims to use his VR skills and turn them into educational courses.
“I’m going to create game experiences that are immersive and interactive and get it to kids who need it the most with VR goggles,” he says. “Education is so far behind when everything else is so advanced with modern technology. I want to enhance the education experience.”
VR can open new doors of opportunity, he believes. “We’re all unique individuals and have unique capabilities in learning and contribute to the world,” he says. “Nobody should be limited by the quality of education they receive but should take responsibility from learning and preparing themselves for the future.”
He further adds: “Our generation has to create jobs that don’t exist yet. This takes creativity, innovation and forward-thinking. We have the power to find what we need beyond the traditional classroom paradigm. Schools need to recognize this power. I look forward to being a part of that.”
Winston is viewed as a rare talent. His coding has been self-taught since the age of 6. His strong mathematical and logical thinking skills led him to become a recipient of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth award.
Bringing the virtual reality experience to schools still remains a worldwide challenge with cost as one of the major obstacles.
Although the technology is developing, the availability of content still remains limited, especially for educational purposes.
VR can be beneficial for students, according to developers. Learning can become quicker and more fun through visual storytelling, interactive education and an immersive experience that VR can offer.