What were you doing with your spare time when you were Eleven years old?
Playing video games?
Going to the movies with friends?
Well, in rural Pennsylvania, an eleven year-old boy named Conner Haines is developing Apps.
Sure, we’ve all read stories of younger (and younger) kids developing apps, but what makes this story truly unique is the altruistic nature of Conner’s endeavor. For Conner is offering up his services FREE OF CHARGE to any child (aged 5 and 12) with cancer.
Unfortunately like too many of us (myself included), Conner has a personal connection with the disease. His older sister was diagnosed with cancer when she was just two and a half years old, and struggled with the disease for nearly seven years, but is now thankfully cancer-free. He wants to use his talents (and love of app development) to help bring kids with cancer’s App ideas to life via a free service he calls ‘BElieve’.
The production is a bit of a family affair, with everyone chipping in. One of 8 kids, Conner utilizes his siblings as his QA team, play testing the apps, his dad helps “with some of the tech stuff” and his mom helps with “some of the typing stuff”.
All a child needs to do is visit the flipflpgames website and print out the iPhone app template pages (which look like a blank iPhone screen). Then they simply draw their ideas on these screens, scan or take a picture of them and email them to email@example.com along with any other pertinent information. All Conner asks is that “the idea for the game is not too hard for me to develop…I’m only 11 years old”.
To make sure no one is taking advantage of his good will, applicants also need to include a copy of their cancer diagnosis (a scanned letter from a doctor, etc.). It takes Conner two to three months to develop the game and get it into the App Store, but it will also be playable on the web via GameSalad’s HTML5 functionality. Children have the choice of making their app either free or paid, however if it is a paid app, then all profits will be donated to Make-A-Wish.
flipflpgames was just started in October and Conner’s first app That chipmunk Bob was released the day before Thanksgiving in both free and paid releases which to date have sold more than 1400 copies.
While Conner’s the apps are certainly not the next Angry Birds or Infinity Blade (just yet), it is wonderful to see a child putting their time and talent to such well-meaning and unselfish use. I hope that his BElieve program is a big success.