Maru Nihoniho's story can be played out like a movie - born and raised in Christchurch she was bullied and felt isolated during her years at primary school through to her time at college. Following a move from Christchurch to Wellington Maru became disconnected from the education system and left school to work voluntary at a secondhand shop. It could have played out differently but Maru's love of gaming, that's console gaming like PlayStation, Nintendo and XBox lead to a career in game design and development. It wasn't an easy road - from maxed out credit cards to on-going rejection, Maru was close to packing it all in. But while she was overseas at a gaming conference a publisher was interested in her idea, a deal was brokered and her game Cube was published for PSP. That was back in 2003. In September this year, Maru's company Metia Interactive is a finalist at the Simulation Australasia Annual Awards for her 3D puzzle game, Takaro. Maru shares her story on Te Ahi Kaa.