Italian grade schooler designs online video game during Covid-19 lockdown and school closure: the game’s theme is to destroy the virus


Marco Daturi

Lupo Daturi, a 9 year old Italian school boy, plays Cerba-20 vs COVID-19 video game he designed.

Siti Hajerah and Brenda Kochevar

Early in March, due to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the Italian government closed schools and placed a national lockdown effectively changing the lives of millions of school children.

Children uncertain of when they could return to school, also could no longer visit playgrounds, friends, or grandparents.

However, things have been different for Lupo Daturi, a fourth grader from Binasco, Italy.

Binasco, a commune south of Milan and located in the Italian region of Lombardy, is one of the hardest hit COVID-19 areas in Italy.

Due to such unprecedented times, Daturi turned his attention to programming, a passion he shares with his father Marco, a business manager. 

He studied online game tutorials to learn game development and used a Scratch platform he had used to design other games.

According to MSN, during the lockdown, Daturi created an online video game titled Cerba-20, to combat COVID-19.

Players find themselves in the captain’s chair of the Cerba-20 spaceship. The object of the game is for the player to destroy the COVID-19 enemy with laser beams.

Daturi found inspiration for the game name from the company his father works for which studies prevention solutions for COVID-19.

Daturi plays his new game with his friends and intends to teach them how to program too.

His teachers have asked him to create programs for school.

Some parents with kids who obsess on video games during lockdown may be concerned about Daturi’s new interest. 

But his mother, Francesca Zambonin, a lawyer, rejects those concerns. 

Zambonin is delighted her son designed a game that has gone viral because it will lead him to create more programs.

“I am happy because he is passionate about something that can help him,” Zambonin said.