Maru Nihoniho One of Forbes’ Top 50 Women in Tech
“Founding Metia Interactive in 2003, Nihoniho continues to receive international accolades for video games that address the needs of “rangatahi,” or “younger people” in her native Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.”
“Her 3D animated mobile app SPARX applies cognitive therapy techniques to help teens combat depression and Tākaro enforces spacial awareness skills and coding concepts as an entry into STEM skills.”
Nihoniho’s latest, Guardian Maia “explores Māori culture through “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style text-based play,” as reported in a Forbes article profiling Metia Interactive.
“The gaming world has opened up, especially since smart phones have become more powerful and there are online stores to publish to,” Nihoniho told Forbes.
“Games are now seen as another resource to help educate and train, so the customers have changed. My customer 15 years [ago] was a games publisher. Now they are educational institutes, businesses and the consumer themselves.”
“In addition to running the studio, she’s director of her husband’s restaurant in Auckland and she’s a director of Circle of Care Ltd, where they “are building a socially networked mood-aware system to assist rangatahi to take care of their mental and emotional wellbeing, by providing them with mood insights, a mood management system”.
“It builds from the foundations of whakawhanaungatanga — family and friend relationships,” she said. “It is intended for everyone who would like to improve their wellbeing, focusing on the needs of young people struggling to cope with society’s current pressures”.
Nihoniho’s “honors include the United Nations World Summit Award the e-Health and Environment category and the MCV Pacific Women in Games Awards from Microsoft Xbox.”
Article Source: Forbes, December 2018
Image Source: Forbes Women in Tech Profile