No, it's 'Rolando', not 'Ronaldo'. Easy mistake to make. Both need help navigating safely through tunnels.
A Dalston iPhone developer will soon become a millionaire, thanks to making faces in his bedroom. Simon Oliver is the creative force behind Rolando, one of the most ingenious games developed for the platform. By tilting the phone, players must guide a helpless set of Rolandos - smiley hub-caps of very little brain - past a series of obstacles. It's addictive, fiendish fun, and looks gorgeous.
Oliver previously made money by designing installations for London's museums while trying, and failing, to break into the games industry. Last march, he took the initiative and taught himself to programme for the iPhone in his spare time. The autodidact is well on his way to the millionaire's club; Rolando now boasts hundreds of thousands of downloads at £2.99 a pop. One year on, he has his own games firm (HandCircus) based in Shoreditch and further games are forthcoming.
Apps are the new cottage industry. If you know something about coding, you can put one together at very little cost in your spare time, then sell it to thousands via Apple's Apps store. Londoners who want to follow in Oliver's footsteps can even take an iPhone development course in Islington. According to PC Adviser, 20,000 Apps are now available, and half a billion have been downloaded. Like a Rolando, this bandwagon has a long way to roll yet.