Global Game Jam: The UAE’s 48-hour race to develop a game

Global Game Jam will run from Jan 30. to Feb. 1. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 January 2020

Global Game Jam: The UAE’s 48-hour race to develop a game

  • The Global Game Jam will give fans a chance to build a game that focuses on a secret theme — announced on the day — within a 48-hour condensed development cycle

DUBAI: With an array of festivals and events lined up this season, there is something rather intriguing scheduled for game creators in the UAE. 

The Global Game Jam is being held in Dubai from Jan. 30 to Feb.1 and will give fans a chance to build a game that focuses on a secret theme — announced on the day — within a 48-hour condensed development cycle. 

“Once the secret theme of the game is disclosed on the day of the event, participants will start searching for the team members and should immediately brainstorm and filter all the ideas based on their skills,” Ahmed Fouad, a game development lecturer at SAE Institute, told Arab News. 

“At this stage, the team will also schedule their sleep hours and divide the work among the members — artists will work on the characters and environment and programmers will start prototyping the game mechanics,” he added. 




The competitors will have to create a game within a 48-hour condensed development cycle. (Supplied)

Usually, the game development process can take years and so one of the biggest challenges of the event, according to Fouad, is the time limit and the fact that participants are designing and developing a game with people they have never met before.

“But during the game jams we have witnessed fantastic ideas and with the help of good team members, it can be brought to fruition as well,” he said. 

Another challenge faced when designing a game, according to Anna Tookey — a member of the Dubai’s SAE Institute student council — is when to say no.

“Often, we will find an idea that we love and cling to it thinking that nothing could beat this idea and it’s my ticket to fame. Turns out your first idea is usually your worst, the more times you scrap the idea and open your mind to others, (the more likely you are to) find something that truly works,” she told Arab News. 


A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

According to the CDC, beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 31 March 2020

A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

  • We take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches

DUBAI: With conflicting news reports from media outlets around the world stating that men should — or don’t need to — shave off their prized facial hair in order to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, we take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches.

Earlier this month, the Welsh Ambulance service advised that medical personnel should “reach for the razor (as) facial hair can disrupt the effectiveness of personal protective equipment” in a tweet and the head of France's ER doctors association advised medical staff to shave off their beards for hygiene reasons. However, these measures are mainly aimed at medical staff who rely on masks and respirators, while advice for the general public has not yet touched upon facial hair as a potential danger in the spread of coronavirus.

What’s clear, however, is the fact that beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators.

Masks and respirators are being utilized all around the world in a bid to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. But according to a recently resurfaced 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infographic, one’s facial hair can interfere with how effective these filtering items are.

The infographic shows 36 different facial hair styles and provides names for each of them — some of which could be unknown to even the savviest barbers. It also tells you which facial hair styles would and would not work well with a “filtering facepiece respirator” like the P2/N95 respirator, that may protect you against small airborne microbes if worn properly.

While handlebars, lampshades and soul patches are deemed good to go, other facial hair styles, such as mutton chops and a full beard are advised against.

According to the infographic, facial hair can pose a risk to the effectiveness of masks because it may interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal to achieve maximum protection.

In short, making sure there’s a good seal between the mask and the wearer’s face is a vital part of respiratory protection, however facial hair can compromise that seal.

The CDC recommends that any facial hair that can fit entirely under a close-fitting respirator should be fine. Where it looks like you might have some problems is if your facial hair is long enough or covers enough of your face that it pushes against the seal of the respirator, thereby allowing airborne particles to leak through.

However, it’s important to note that the CDC only recommends facial masks and facepiece respirators for those who work in the healthcare industry and those who are coming into contact with people who could be potentially infected with the disease, as well as individuals with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.