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82-year-old woman released her very first app

While all of us would like to achieve fame, riches and recognition in our youth, there are plenty of examples of people only achieving success in the latter stages of their lives.

The late Alan Rickman is perhaps best remembered as the chilling, German-accented villain Hans Gruber in 1988's Die Hard (as well as Professor Snape, of course), but you may not know that the film was his very first movie role at the grand-old-age of 42.

Hans Gruber falling in Die Hard Credit: 20th Century Fox

Famed novelist Charles Bukowski worked in a post office until he was nearly 50 years old, before quitting his job to become a full-time writer, with his first novel being aptly named Post Office. Now, we might be about to add another name to the list of late-blooming success stories.

With the average age of an employee being just 28 years old, it's fair to say that the tech industry is a young person's game. However, at an age where she could be forgiven for taking an apathetic stance on the latest tech, this 82-year-old woman may be about to make a name for by creating and releasing her very first iPhone game.

Masako Wakamiya & Tim Cook Credit: 41studio

It's sometimes easy to forget, but the age of smartphones is still a relatively new one, and for older generations, learning how to operate the latest Android or iPhone can be a pretty steep learning curve.

Hailing from Japan, Masako Wakamiya is more than aware of the effects that age can have on our ability to effectively handle technology, and in a talk at TEDx Tokyo in 2014, she described the harrowing experience of trying to set up a computer to use the internet: "My face was covered in sweat and tears".

Wakamiya was 79 years old at the time, and the retired banker soon saw a niche in the market with the advent of the smartphone, and more importantly, the mobile gaming industry.

Many older people find the games hard to play because of their small text and intricate movement, and Wakamiya wanted to pitch the idea of a mobile game aimed directly at seniors.

Masako Wakamiya iPhone game Credit: Apple App Store

Her initial idea was rejected, but that didn't deter her one bit; instead, she decided to teach herself how to program and build her own apps, and within six months, she had come out with Hinadan, a game with simple graphics, relaxed gameplay and clear, simple spoken instructions.

Hinadan is centred around the Japanese festival Hinamatsuri, and the player's task is to effectively dress the dolls ahead of their big day. Back in June, Wakamiya even attended Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where she got a special mention from Apple CEO Tim Cook in the keynote address.

In the modern age, it's easy to get bogged down by the minute details and give up on your dreams, but here is a wonderful example of what can happen when you keep going, and focus on being the best you can be. She may be 82 years old, but Masako Wakamiya proves once and for all that age is just a number when it comes to achieving great success.

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