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Keith Stuart

Events for Keith Stuart
A Boy Made of Blocks

Event 157 Saturday 4 March, 3pm-4pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

Authors: Keith Stuart
“Life puts up so many barriers to people who are different. Any tool that helps us to appreciate those people is a precious thing.” – Keith Stuart

Alex’s life is falling apart – his marriage is failing and his autistic son Sam is struggling to comprehend an overwhelming world. But when Sam starts playing Minecraft, the two of them have a chance to build a virtual world they can share – and start confronting their problems in the real world.

Games journalist Keith Stuart was inspired to write A Boy Made of Blocks by personal experience – his son is on the autism spectrum, and Minecraft helped father and son connect. In this session he talks about the challenges of autism and how computer games can be surprisingly helpful, as well as how he came to write his bestselling novel.

Language: English

A Boy Made of Blocks

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StoryCode: Game-based Storytelling

Event 156 Saturday 4 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

“The key is to make the game the thing, make it fun, and the books become secondary... the reward is an excellent book that will flesh out the story of the game.” – Simon Scarrow on Cato & Macro

As Gaming & Technology becomes more sophisticated, so too does the opportunity to tell a compelling story in this uniquely interactive medium. Our panel investigates how well this opportunity is being fulfilled and what’s in store for the future.

Games can be a powerful and profoundly social way of telling an ongoing story. Our panel explores the ways that games – from the growing sophistication of online gaming communities to the intricacies of a drawn-out RPG campaign – open up opportunities for storytelling, and take a look at what’s in store for the future.

Heidi Frost is a long-time proponent of games as literature and the organizer of Dubai Writers' Group, which offers support to professional and aspiring writers alike to improve their writing.

Omar Ismail is no stranger to telling stories in games – he is the founder of the Gulf Roleplaying Community, a diverse 450-strong community of tabletop gamers.

Simon Scarrow is the author of the Eagle series of books, whose heroes Cato and Macro are now stars of their own game.

Keith Stuart is the Guardian’s Games Editor and has spent 20 years observing the evolution of Gaming & Technology, design and storytelling.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

StoryCode: Game-based Storytelling

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Virtual Insanity: Is Technology Changing Who We Are?

Event 15 Friday 3 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“Ethics change with technology.” – Larry Niven

Technological progress has had an enormous impact on our physical lives, but what is it doing to our minds? This is an area prone to sensationalist reporting, which can obscure real issues about what our relationship with technology reveals about us as individuals and societies.

Sarah Amiri is the Lead Science Investigator of the Emirates Mars Mission and, through her work with UAE universities and international institutions, is a key player in the UAE’s mission to build a knowledge-based society.

Jon Ronson is the author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, an examination of how the age-old art of shaming has gained global reach thanks to social media.

Keith Stuart has written about video games for 20 years, and has thus been witness to both the growth of a new culture and the emergence of some extreme culture wars.

Ashlee Vance, reporting from Silicon Valley, has made a career of getting inside the heads of people pursuing technological breakthroughs, from infrastructure to artificial intelligence to space travel.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Virtual Insanity: Is Technology Changing Who We Are?

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