Lina Maharon is a stroke survivor. She had a stroke in her thirties — considered as a young age to be struck by the ailment.
The tragedy led to the unlikely formation of Mikhail Game Tech — an Internet services and app development company — in May 2015 (about 2 years ago).
Prior to the formation of Mikhail Game Tech, Lina was working at a company. And then, the stroke came. It was 2013.
“Because of that, I lost my job and I had to find a way to support myself,” related Lina.
The stroke rendered her paralyzed on the whole of her left side. “The doctor told me to start exercising my hands and fingers so that I can regain movement,” she added.
Bored of the exercises recommended by the hospital, Lina started fiddling with her iPad and playing games on it.
The swiping and tapping movements she made on the iPad greatly assisted her road to recovery.
“Because of the excessive tapping and swiping, I began thinking that I should start building mobile games for people who are sick or ill,” said Lina.
As Lina had never built a mobile app, she used online resources to educate herself. She took to Google to search for tutorial sites on building Android applications and watched YouTube videos of app tutorials.
13 years of experience in web development and programming enabled Lina to quickly master the techniques of mobile app development.
The effort bore several apps under the stable of Mikhail Game Tech, available from the Google Play store.
One of them is the ‘EFT Tapping Simulation’, designed for easier steps of Emotional Freedom Technique (hence ‘EFT’).
(‘EFT’ is a form of mediation and guidance drawing on various theories in alternative medicine such as acupuncture and biofeedback.)
Lina noted that this particular app enjoys good reception from overseas.
“I didn’t really promote (the apps) much. It’s mostly through word of mouth and sharing on Facebook. But now, some have even started cloning my apps,” said Lina.
A number of other apps under the company’s stable have been developed. One is the ‘Wau Bulan’, an app that combines the on-screen flying of the wau (traditional Kelantanese kites) and traditional music.
Others include educational and Islamic apps such as ‘Alif Ba Ta’ (learning Arabic script) and ‘Qiblat Locator’ (locator of Muslim prayer direction with voice features for the visually impaired).
On what inspired her to make other various apps, Lina shared that it can come out of thin air, through observing those around her, or even based on requests from friends.
“For example, I decided to create a game where a cyclist is walking around and zombies are after him because I like zombie films and series. I also have one game called ‘Tempe Terror’, because I like to eat tempe (a dish made of fermented soybeans). And then during the haze, I created a game called ‘HazeCat’ where you have to tap the haze away so that your cat will survive the haze.”
As for future hopes and aspirations, Lina wants to keep learning so that she will someday be known for her contributions in the field of technology and computing.
“I have managed to overcome my health issues and officially build 20 apps. Do not be afraid, just keep to your passion and just continuously learn.”