Meet Masako Wakamiya, a retired bank clerk that turned her retirement time into a learning opportunity. She became so intrigued by technological advancements in the 1990’s, that she set up her first system and BBS messaging prior to developing skills with a personal Macintosh computer, and Apple’s very own iPhone. One day, she came to a realization that app developers weren’t creating games that specifically catered towards the elderly. After numerous attempts of reaching out towards various app developers with no results, Wakamiya took the initiative to change the landscape of apps. With an untapped market in mind, she taught herself code basics which led her to the creation of “Hinadan,” the first dedicated app game for people
over the age of 60.
Wasakmiya created “Hinadan” with a fairly easy objective in mind. The player must put each doll in its corresponding chair, doing so a traditional Japanese Drum, “Pong” will trigger. On the contrary, placing a doll in its wrong chair will trigger “boo’s,” resulting the player to try again. The game is inspired by Hinamatsuri, a Japanese tradition that showcases ornamental dolls above a red carpet platform that takes place March 3rd of each year. Since its introduction, Hinadan continues to receive positives reviews and consistent downloads. With the success of “Hinadan,” Wakamiya is considered as the world’s oldest successful iPhone app developer for the elderly. Her goal is to make smartphones more accessible one app at a time.