Oliver Smith only has one lung, half a heart and is 7 foot 3 but like Master Chief from Halo, against all odds he is out to help the world.
Oliver, 19, has a plan to get young people interacting with the elderly through the medium of video games.
His idea is to get the older generation playing games and using instant messaging services like Skype. This way they can stay in contact and have common interests with their young relatives.
Oliver said “I wanted to do something to help elderly people communicate with young members of their families
“It just seemed a good idea, youngsters spend a lot of time gaming and their grandparents can become isolated because of health reasons and end up in homes. If they know how to use computers and things like Skype it can bring families together.”
He has always found video games have helped him through life. They were always there to cheer him up in some of his darker moments. He is now a student of Train2Game on the QA course and most recently took part in the world record winning Game Jam. He joined the course so he has a chance to be a part of the industry that has helped him.
Unconventional Oliver is not what you would think of when you imagine someone who helps the elderly however. He is what is known as, a Goth.
Talking about his lifestyle he said “I love the statement being a Goth makes and I’m what you’d call ‘steam punk’ – but a lot of people, particularly older folk, are a bit prejudice when they see the way I dress in leather and eyeliner, with my coat held together with safety pins.
“I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and I know my parents were afraid I might go that far off the rails with drink, loud music and late nights that I might never come back.
“I was born with heart and respiratory problems which nearly killed me me when I was younger… I think that made me feel a bit alienated and after all I’m seven feet three inches tall and look different.
“I guess I fitted into the Goth world pretty easily after all that.”
He contacted Exeter council with his idea and they happily helped Oliver by putting his business on there website.
Good luck with everything you do Oliver!