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Chickasaw teen conquers obstacles to win ECU Tiger Tank

STRATFORD, Okla. – Cody Greenwood's most cherished memories are of a not-that-long-ago childhood.

In his mind's eye appears a vision of the family sofa piled deep with sisters, cousins and friends waging video game combat.

His favorite game was "Crash Bash." Up to four players compete to win 28 minigames in order to advance to increasingly difficult competitive levels.

"I was pretty much unbeatable at 'Crash Bash,'" the 18-year-old Stratford High School senior recalls with a shy laugh.

A decade later, he wished to relive the good ol' days of "Crash Bash" by playing it on his smartphone. However, 'Crash Bash' was unavailable for gamers on Android devices. Only Apple phones supported it.

Undeterred, Cody decided he would develop the game for Android.


Sometime in 2013, Cody launched his quest. He did not doubt his ability to write computer code to bring it to life, but he was intuitively aware legal obstacles required skilled navigation.

He understood copyright and proprietary code owned by Sony could end his journey before it began.

"Writing an engine is easy. The only difficult part of the whole idea was trying to figure out a way to do it without infringing on any existing copyrights," Cody explained.

"Engine, script, dip switches, code, clock, beta" – all the easy stuff," as Cody puts it – can be rewritten, manipulated, tweaked, improved and debugged so "Crash Bash" for Android would look, feel and act just like the computer-based game he mastered years earlier.

He discovered he was not alone. Hundreds of global computer wizards were attempting to bring PlayStation games to Androids. The group communicated online and embarked upon individual assignments to test, rewrite, fix or even create from scratch whatever was required to resuscitate the games.

Eighteen months later ... success!

On Google Play

Impressively dubbed ePSXe – a legal "spin off" of PSX marketed by PlayStation – the app is available on Google Play, which caters to Android users. Its cost is $3.25, a pittance sum, really, to bring back the memories Cody fondly recalls.

"Others are responsible for the marketing of it. My participation was more behind the scenes."

Cody estimates more than 14,000 people worldwide started the project. When completed, only 300 remained active on the project. Along with Cody, the other 299 made the app a reality.

Cody is pleased he is credited with helping bring the game to Androids.

Offers to reward him financially were declined.

"I turned down an offer to earn a penny for every 25 downloads," he said. "I honestly was just happy being able to play childhood games I loved so much. I was a part of a great community and it was a wonderful opportunity."

The ability to bring games to an internet audience who enjoyed playing on computers years earlier lit up Cody's imagination. He consulted with Tammy Anderson, a Stratford High School computer science instructor who inspired him.

Cody thought he would showcase the accomplishment and enter its concept in the annual East Central University (ECU) "Tiger Tank," where business ideas are pitched. It is fashioned after the popular television show "Shark Tank."

Ms. Anderson's enthusiasm propelled Cody to enter.

First Place Finish

Friend Jimyjo Lemmings was enlisted to create a Power Point presentation, freeing Cody to illustrate and explain his business pitch to Tiger Tank judges. He stayed true to his Chickasaw heritage. He included and thanked all of the teams who worked on the project with him.

"When they announced the third place winner, I thought we didn't get anything," Cody said.

It only dawned on him he won first place when the awards presenter could not pronounce ePSXe.

"I was sitting there and I got chills down my spine," Cody recalled. "People were staring at me saying 'tell her how to pronounce it.' Finally, someone shouted it out and (the presenter) just said 'come on up and get your award.'"

Cody's first place finish paid $250, which he generously shared with others who worked on the project.

"God has blessed me with the gift to understand and utilize (computer technology) better than most people can. To me, it's pretty cool. When it comes down to numbers or math or things like that, I just don't get it. But you can set a computer in front of me and within 20 minutes I can figure it out."

Cody says he put in the time and dedication because "I wanted to relive my old childhood memories.

While Cody celebrates his accomplishment, he also admits all the time he put in left him uninterested in playing the game.

"Yeah," Cody chuckled, "I haven't played the game since I pitched it at Tiger Tank months ago."

Asperger's Syndrome

Cody's accomplishments are even more impressive when one takes into account he suffers from with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.

Cody was just three when diagnosed after he "acted out" in class, said his mother, Summer Greenwood.

Mrs. Greenwood now sees the signs she missed early.

"I remember we would go to family gatherings and he would isolate himself from his cousins or just go off and play by himself. We didn't think much of it. We thought it was just his personality."

Asperger's syndrome is a condition where social interaction and communication "cues" are confused, such as a grimace may appear as aggression; or general laugher may be interpreted as taunting. Cody suffers from sensory overload as well.

Cody strives for self-improvement so he consciously places himself in situations uncomfortable for him.

He is a member of Stratford Future Farmers of America (FFA) and engages in public speaking and shows sheep in the county livestock show.

In 2015-16, he donned the Stratford High School Bulldog mascot uniform to cheer on the football team. Cody shook hands, hugged children and interacted with fans.

"I have overcome a diagnosis that predicted I would (not) achieve some of the things I have in my life, such as the speech competitions, livestock showing and (being) school mascot just to name a few," Cody said.

"I want to be an example that people with disabilities are capable of incredible things and that a label like autism does not define you."

New Challenges

When he graduates in May, Cody plans to attend ECU. He is considering computer science as a major. A degree in mass communications has piqued his interest as well. He would use it, he said, to hone his ability to "pitch business ideas."

"I want to make a difference. I want to build something new. If I were to develop technology like an iPhone, there is one organization I would love to represent and that's the Chickasaw Nation. I want to do something for the Chickasaw Nation because of all the great things it has done for me."

Cody's older sisters, Kelsey Babbitt and Kortney Greenwood-Samis, are employed by the Chickasaw Nation. Both earned degrees from East Central in Native American Studies. His father, Jeff, works for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and his mother manages the home in Stratford.

Their Chickasaw roots can be traced to Frank Greenwood, an original enrollee who came to Indian Territory with the tribe during removal.

Mrs. Greenwood said the original land allotment is still owned by the family. It is located in Milburn and in Johnston County.

"It's the home place," she said. "Jeff hunts there and we visit it often. It's an important part of who we are."


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