N.S. council recognizes 13-year-old coder for creating game named second in worldwide competition

Connor Hunter speaks before the council, with Councilor Paulette Hamilton.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A 13-year-old coder whose game won second place in a worldwide competition late last year received a citation in acknowledgement of the achievement this month from the North Smithfield Town Council.

Connor Hunter of North Smithfield answered the call to create a Halloween-themed game in a challenge put out by coding school Code Ninjas in October.

“I had a challenge to create a game using Microsoft MakeCode or CADE in one hour,” Hunter explained. “I managed to make the entire game in 45 minutes, and change around some assets and just make the game look better in the 15 minutes remaining. I won second place in the world by it.”

Hunter’s grandfather, Ronald Letoile noted that Hunter belongs to the Shrewsbury, Mass. branch of the coding school, which has 90 children.

“He easily won that competition,” said Letoille.

The franchise has some 400 branches throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K., putting Hunter’s game, where players collect candy corn while avoiding ghosts, up against games created by an international group of the top young coders. YouTuber Benjamin Lupo, or DrLupo, a professional gamer with 1.9 million subscribers, chose the top three. Lupo is known for making charity streams to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“People can play that game, and he did it in less than an hour – coded the whole thing and came in second place,” said Councilor Paulette Hamilton during presentation of a citation on Monday, Jan. 2.

“We’re very proud of you,” Hamilton said. “It’s a big deal to be second place in anything. Second place in North Smithfield would be a great honor.”

“We’ve got a future Mark Zuckerberg on our hands here,” said Councilor John Beauregard. “He’s going to have his own jet airplane someday.”

“Crazy fantastic,” added Hamilton. “We’re very proud of you.”

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