(September 15, 2023) Indian origin Simar Khurana, a six-year-old from Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, has created a Guinness World Record becoming world’s youngest video game developer – an impressive feat she accomplished at the young age of six years and 335 days.
What makes her achievement even more special is her remarkable ability to create a video game that not only provides entertainment but also imparts a message about the importance of adopting healthy eating habits. Her game, aptly named ‘Junk Food vs Healthy Food,’ not only entertains but also educates young players about making nutritious food choices.
The student of Jacobs Beam Public School is not only a coding prodigy but also a versatile child with a passion for maths, art, gymnastics, and dance. Simar finds support in her family and the entire school that was cheering when she made the record. She showcases her expertise on her YouTube channel, ‘Simars World’.
Girls are no less than boys
Simar’s father Paras Khurana, an HR professional, told Global Indian, “I have two daughters. Simar is the second one, and when she was born, a few people expressed sympathy and were rueful that I was blessed with another girl. They told me to try for a boy. Simar’s achievements are like a slap on their face.”
Talking about the Guinness Book rules he says, “Guinness recognises two categories for the youngest video game developer – one for males and one for females. Simar qualified for the female category. However, if there would have been an open competition, she would have excelled regardless. Sadly, there still appears to be a bias favouring boys over girls.”
Simar is ‘super excited and grateful to be a world record holder’. While her father shared, “the process was very lengthy and exhaustive. It took almost three months to verify and validate.”
Discovering the talent
Simar began her coding journey just this year when her parents recognised her exceptional aptitude for coding, mathematics and doing things creatively. They decided to enrol her in a coding class.
“Such is her creativity that she can create something great out of simple things, and I realised that with her talent for maths and coding she can be a good video game developer,” said her father.
What started as a single class per week soon escalated to three classes, and eventually, Simar dedicated herself to five coding classes weekly.
Simar’s inspiration for her game promoting healthy food choices stemmed from a visit to her family doctor, who emphasised the significance of maintaining a balanced diet. This conversation with her doctor left a mark on the impressionable mind of the six-year-old, sparking her interest in the consequences of consuming junk food and the importance of making healthier choices.
Driven by her newfound knowledge, Simar embarked on her video game journey to transform the perspective of children her age in a fun manner.
Hiccups along the way
When Simar’s parents began searching for a place to provide her with coding training, they explored several options. However, they encountered a common response: “She’s too young. Most children are just beginning to learn to read and write. Developing a game would be quite challenging.” Many institutions recommended that they introduce her to coding when she is at least eight to 10-year-old.
However, looking at their child’s ability her parents knew that she has an extraordinary potential as at such a young age Simar can also solve mathematics problems meant for grade three kids. After trying at many places they finally found an institute that agreed to enrol her.
That’s when her father started researching the world records in coding and found out that nobody has developed a full-fledged game at a young age. “I told Simar this and she got excited, ‘I want to make a world record,’ she said and began announcing to the whole family that she’s going to make a world record’,” Paras shares.
“Simar is hardworking and she did it pretty well for a six-year-old to go through five classes a week on coding and then spending a couple of hours every day on practising and doing projects,” he remarked.
The coder has graduated to the next level of working into animations. She loves Roblox, an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation that allows users to programme games and play games created by other users. Down the line she aims to develop something even better than that.
Motivated by her accomplishments, the youngster is working on a more interactive and engaging game. She has a message for everyone – “Don’t eat junk food!”
- Follow Simar Khurana on YouTube