|Cyber child: Ky Anh with his grandparents at their home in Cau Giay District. — VNS Photo The Dung
Nguyen Ky Anh, 11, has successfully created a website featuring 22 traditional games from across Viet Nam. Thu Trang
and The Dung
Despite his young age and modest experience, 11-year-old Nguyen Ky Anh has successfully created a website featuring 22 traditional games from across Viet Nam.
A fifth grader at Yen Hoa Primary School in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District, Anh has studied computer science for just over a year and studies the subject at school for only two hours per day, so his website creation has surprised many people.
Anh is quite a bit more self-assured than many of his friends because he has lived far from his parents since he was very young. His parents work in the Czech Republic and he lives with his grandparents.
He has grown up to the tunes of his grandmother's traditional Vietnamese lullabies which has developed a strong love for the traditional games featured in many of the songs' lyrics.
When Anh was three years old, he knew the number of traditional games and their accompanying songs by heart.
"I wanted to create a website to share the games with many people, especially children like me, as the games are healthy and improve solidarity between friends," he said.
Anh's grandfather said that he told Anh stories about the origins of the traditional games along with other historical stories related to the games, such as the sporting spirit and the indomitable tradition of the Vietnamese people in their national liberation. These stories helped foster Anh's love for the games even more.
Since last May, Anh has systematically collected and documented information about the games and set up the framework for his website. To find information, his grandfather took him to the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology and he also consulted books and internet sites about Vietnamese traditions.
After two months of research, he managed to design the website using Microsoft Frontpage. The website includes three sections: the front page, the introduction and the games.
The game section includes information about 20 traditional games from across the country such as tug of war, o an quan (mandarin square capturing), wrestling, human chess, cock-fighting and blind-man's-buff. The children's songs that accompany the games are also featured.
"The most difficult work when setting up the website was making clips of the games and finding information about the games," said Anh.
But with help from his teachers and relatives, he was successful.
Le Tien Hai, Anh's computer science teacher and his website development guide, said Anh showed a real aptitude for information technology.
"He understands my guidance quickly, even the difficult aspects," he said.
Nguyen Duc Nghia, one of Anh's classmates, said: "I like the game o an quan the best as the tools to play the game are very simple. You just draw a rectangle on the ground, collect some stones, and then you're ready to play the game with your friends."
Last year, Anh's software on Vietnamese traditional games won the consolation prize at Ha Noi's 16th Computer Sciences Competition and received a lot of praise from children and parents.
Anh expects to put the website online next month with assistance from his uncle.
"When it's online, I hope the website will become an open forum for everyone to share their knowledge about traditional games," he said.
Anh also wants to set up an English version of his website so that foreign children can gain a better understanding of traditional Vietnamese games.
Although Anh is interested in computer science, he does not neglect his other subjects. He has proven himself as an outstanding student during the past four years.
"In the future I want to study at FPT University which specialises in training computer programmers," said Anh.
Deputy principal of FPT University Nguyen Xuan Phong expressed a high appreciation for Anh's website. After researching his web script and seeing his computer manipulation skills, Phong said: "Anh is intelligent and can do some difficult things after listening to instructions only one time."
The most impressive thing was Anh's ability for independent research and study, Phong said.
He promised that FPT University's managing board would assign some lecturers or students to give Anh additional instruction at home.
"Anh could be the country's young computer science talent in the future," he said.
The university will also allow Anh to study a course on Alice Programming along with other university students, he said.
Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create animation for story telling, playing interactive games, or video sharing on the web. It is used as a teaching tool for introductory computing.
"If Anh can maintain his interest and strong capacity in computer science, we will be sure to accept him as a student in the future," said Phong. — VNS