SCHOOLMATES who taught themselves how to 'speak' to computers are competing for a gaming crown.

Teenagers Adriano Matousek and Aravind Prabhakaran have coincidentally ended up in the shortlist for the same contest, after using online videos and blogs to learn the complex art of games coding.

The Abingdon School students have each designed and created a phone game, which has impressed judges at the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Young Game Designers awards.

Cumnor resident Adriano, 17, has been picked above hundreds of entrants as a finalist in the game making category.

He said: "I love the infinite possibility involved in creating games from scratch. It's challenging but to have BAFTA recognise my game is a real honour."

His venture into the gaming design world only commenced over Christmas, relying on bloggers, books and Youtube tutorials to teach him the ropes.

He said: "I just started playing a few games for fun then making a few sketches, and decided to start programming. I was really curious how games were made.

"I think it's becoming a more popular hobby. I found coding really difficult to pick up; it was a bit scary and frustrating but it becomes easier."

Hi iPhone and Android game 'Evade' sees players tilt their phone to dodge incoming rocks and evil red enemies.

It was recognised this month in an international gaming contest run by a Silicon Valley company, in which he came second and won prizes worth thousands of pounds.

Adriano said there was friendly competition between him and his good friend Aravind, who has created an arcade-style game that sees users control waves to avoid obstacles.

The 16-year-old, who lives in Abingdon near Tilsley Park, said: "It was a bit of a surprise to be shortlisted because BAFTA a big organisation.

"Being recognised has given me the inspiration and confidence to carry on developing my games concepts. I'm excited about meeting other young games designers from across the country."

Aravind, who is also an avid hockey and piano player, started games designing after studying skills online.

He will travel to the BAFTA headquarters in London for a ceremony on July 8, when winners will be announced.

The competition is run in association with Nominet Trust, and 40 games have been shortlisted.

Each is masterminded by youngsters aged between 10 and 18-years-old, who hope to win prizes including advice from an industry mentor and a professional prototype of the game.

Nick Button-Brown, chairman of the BAFTA Games Committee, said: "I'm truly inspired by the amazing games we see and the talent, creativity and enthusiasm our entrants show.

"The entrants will help to define the future of the games industry."