While most nine-year-olds struggled with the unpredictability of home school during the ban, Lupo Daturi waged war against COVID-19. Virtual.
The fourth-grade student from the outskirts of Milan, where the residents have been locked since March 8, used his time to develop a video game that he could play with his friends.
"I had to stop all sports that I did because of COVID-19," he says.
"I can't even go to the pond with my dog. Instead of doing sports – skiing, swimming and karate – I have to make do with an exercise bike."
This prompted Lupo to pay attention to programming, a passion that he shares with his father Marco, a manager.
He took part in some online tutorials and got to work on his game – Cerba-20.
The goal of the game is a fairly typical "seek and destroy" with lasers, except in this case the player sits on the captain's chair of the Cerba-20 spacecraft and the enemy is, correctly, COVID-19.
Lupo explains that he is playing with his friends and now intends to set up a project to teach them how to program.
"He also receives requests from his teachers to program something useful, not just games," says his father.
Many parents with children who were involved in video games during the ban may be concerned about Lupo's new interest. But his mother, a lawyer, rejects such fears.
"I am not worried because my son is not a 'nerd'," says 44-year-old Francesca Zambonin, who is only "happy because he has a passion for something that can help him."
"The fact that he invented a game that went viral makes me happy because it motivates him to do more."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)