Taunton schoolgirl ahead of the game with BAFTA award

RHIANNA HAWKINS at the presentation with magician Ben Hanlin and singer Conor Maynard.

RHIANNA HAWKINS at the presentation with magician Ben Hanlin and singer Conor Maynard.

First published in Somerset This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

A TAUNTON schoolgirl was left jumping for joy after winning a BAFTA award for her game design.

Rhianna Hawkins said she is amazed at winning the Game Concept Award at the BAFTA Young Game Designers Competition.

The 16-year-old designed a game for mobile phones called ‘Tomatoes Role’ which invites players to help a tomato make it into the fruit family.

She will now have her game developed at the University of Abertay in Dundee.

She said: “I read about the competition online a few months ago and I remember feeling sorry for the tomato because it’s not really classed as a fruit.

“I was so shocked to even be shortlisted and to win was just amazing, especially as I got to see the other shortlisted games which were so good.”

Rhianna, who is off to study at Richard Huish College in September, fought off hundreds of entries to make the final nine.

She was invited to a glittering ceremony in London last week and received her award from singer Conor Maynard and magician Ben Hanlin.

Rhianna was the first female to win the award and is hoping to study at Abertay University when she is older.

She added: “I’m so excited to be part of the design process and I really want to study at the Univeristy when I finish my A-levels.

“I really like the idea of games because, unlike a book, the player has the ability to decide and change what happens, there’s so much more freedom.”

Jury member Mark Ogilvie, design director at Jagex said Rhianna’s game is a ‘funny, exciting idea with real spark.’

Mum Sarah added: “We are so proud of her. It’s been a surreal few weeks and it was amazing she won.”

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