The actress Lisa Kudrow announcing in June that Angry Birds had won Best Mobile Game award at the Webby Awards. Increasing sophistication in video games is forcing reconsideration of what can be called art.
The actress Lisa Kudrow announcing in June that Angry Birds had won Best Mobile Game award at the Webby Awards. Increasing sophistication in video games is forcing reconsideration of what can be calle

Goal to video games in tussle to win 'art' label



Video-game designers who would like their work to be regarded as art have just won support from an unlikely source: London's theatre world. From today to Sunday, the theatre company Punchdrunk will be teaming up with Sony PlayStation for …And Darkness Descended, an immersive experience based on the game Resistance 3, in which participants must complete tasks to survive, and decide whether to cooperate with others or leave them behind.

It follows similar participatory plays from the company, such as It Felt Like a Kiss, in which a group of viewers is split up as they walk down corridors, until each is alone, pursued by a terrifying figure with a chainsaw. The new piece will be even more interactive, though, with participants feeling more like gamers than an audience as they navigate the Resistance Universe, an alternative version of the 1950s in which 90 per cent of the world's population are either dead or enslaved by space aliens.

The project comes at a time when gaming is being accepted in highbrow circles as never before. The same weekend, the London Philharmonic will be performing music from video games at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, including tunes from Elder Scrolls, Super Mario and Angry Birds.

At the Edinburgh Festival last month, the arts venue The Forest hosted a game designed by the poet Ross Sutherland in which players were offered a canto of poetry and had to search surrounding streets to find a key to unlock the next level. And in the US, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is gearing up to launch The Art of Video Games in the spring, a huge exhibition looking both at the aesthetics within games and at the games themselves as art.

"Art is constantly evolving, as is the language we use to talk about it," the Smithsonian curator Georgina Goodlander told the technology blog Boing Boing. "I think we've only just started to explore how video games can and should be incorporated." She added that while video games today might be "less refined" than other types of media, that was due to the short length of time they'd been around. Given time, she said, "video games will become one of the most powerful storytelling mediums we have ever experienced".

The American Supreme Court seems to agree. In June, the court ruled that video games deserved the same constitutional protection as books, plays and visual art, in a ruling about the sale of violent games in California. But not everyone feels the same way: last year, the critic Roger Ebert fuelled the debate when he argued that video games could never be considered art.

"You can win a game," he wrote in a subsequent article clarifying his position. "It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome." Novels, plays, dance recitals, films, on the other hand, he said, were things "you cannot win; you can only experience them".

Setting aside the point that, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein pointed out, games are impossible things to define, and there are games without rules (children playing house), without an outcome (Second Life) and without a winner (patience), Ebert is still on shaky ground.

Presumably he'd consider Punchdrunk, which has won theatre prizes including a Critics Circle award, to be a creator of art - but …And Darkness Descended has winners, rules and an outcome. Does that disqualify it?

"Art", like "game", is another notoriously tricky word. Whereas the standard definition used to be couched in terms of aesthetic experience or inherent beauty, others describe art as something that fills a social function: art is what is displayed in galleries, debated in the art sections of newspapers, taught at art schools and sold for dizzying sums at auction. Its role is not only to make money but to create social currency: talking about art makes us feel part of a cultural elite.

While this theory may seem cynical (and circular), it makes sense of Ebert's remarks. The journalist refuses to term video games art, we could argue, because video games aren't the sort of thing clever, upper-class people engage with or discuss.

Except now they are. Look at Cory Arcangel, whose hacked versions of bowling games have been on show at the Barbican in London and at the Whitney in New York. What's considered art changes all the time, and perhaps Ebert just can't keep up.

And just as video games can be held up as art, theatre practitioners such as Punchdrunk can incorporate games into their drama without being any less imaginative. Let's hope Georgina Goodlander is right, and the Picasso of virtual shoot em ups is out there now, honing his or her craft.

RESULTS

9pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (Dirt) 2,000m
Winner: Mubhir Al Ain, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ahmed Al Mehairbi (trainer)
9.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Exciting Days, Oscar Chavez, Doug Watson
10pm: Al Ain Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Suny Du Loup, Marcelino Rodrigues, Hamad Al Marar
10.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m
Winner: Jafar Des Arnets, Oscar Chavez, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
11pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Taj Al Izz, Richard Mullen, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami
11.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Majdy, Antonio Fresu, Jean de Roualle
12am: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Hamloola, Sam Hitchcott, Salem Al Ketbi

Quick pearls of wisdom

Focus on gratitude: And do so deeply, he says. “Think of one to three things a day that you’re grateful for. It needs to be specific, too, don’t just say ‘air.’ Really think about it. If you’re grateful for, say, what your parents have done for you, that will motivate you to do more for the world.”

Know how to fight: Shetty married his wife, Radhi, three years ago (he met her in a meditation class before he went off and became a monk). He says they’ve had to learn to respect each other’s “fighting styles” – he’s a talk it-out-immediately person, while she needs space to think. “When you’re having an argument, remember, it’s not you against each other. It’s both of you against the problem. When you win, they lose. If you’re on a team you have to win together.” 

Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Stan Lee

Director: David Gelb

Rating: 3/5

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Jumanji: The Next Level

Director: Jake Kasdan

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Nick Jonas 

Two out of five stars 

TOP 10 MOST POLLUTED CITIES

1. Bhiwadi, India
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Hotan, China
4. Delhi, India
5. Jaunpur, India
6. Faisalabad, Pakistan
7. Noida, India
8. Bahawalpur, Pakistan
9. Peshawar, Pakistan
10. Bagpat, India

Source: IQAir

The bio

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite travel destination: Maldives and south of France

Favourite pastime: Family and friends, meditation, discovering new cuisines

Favourite Movie: Joker (2019). I didn’t like it while I was watching it but then afterwards I loved it. I loved the psychology behind it.

Favourite Author: My father for sure

Favourite Artist: Damien Hurst

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Profile of Whizkey

Date founded: 04 November 2017

Founders: Abdulaziz AlBlooshi and Harsh Hirani

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 10+

Sector: AI, software

Cashflow: Dh2.5 Million+ 

Funding stage: Series A

Washmen Profile

Date Started: May 2015

Founders: Rami Shaar and Jad Halaoui

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Laundry

Employees: 170

Funding: about $8m

Funders: Addventure, B&Y Partners, Clara Ventures, Cedar Mundi Partners, Henkel Ventures

All We Imagine as Light

Director: Payal Kapadia

Starring: Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

Scores

Oman 109-3 in 18.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45 not out, Aamir Kaleem 27) beat UAE 108-9 in 20 overs (Usman 27, Mustafa 24, Fayyaz 3-16, Bilal 3-23)

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies daily to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi. The journey takes four hours and return fares start from Dh3,995. Opt for the 3am flight and you’ll land at 6am, giving you the entire day to adjust to island time.  

Round trip speedboat transfers to the resort are bookable via Anantara and cost $265 per person.  

John Wick: Chapter 4

Director: Chad Stahelski

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, George Georgiou

Rating: 4/5

Tax authority targets shisha levy evasion

The Federal Tax Authority will track shisha imports with electronic markers to protect customers and ensure levies have been paid.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director of the tax authority, on Sunday said the move is to "prevent tax evasion and support the authority’s tax collection efforts".

The scheme’s first phase, which came into effect on 1st January, 2019, covers all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. As of May 1, importing any type of cigarettes without the digital marks will be prohibited.

He said the latest phase will see imported and locally produced shisha tobacco tracked by the final quarter of this year.

"The FTA also maintains ongoing communication with concerned companies, to help them adapt their systems to meet our requirements and coordinate between all parties involved," he said.

As with cigarettes, shisha was hit with a 100 per cent tax in October 2017, though manufacturers and cafes absorbed some of the costs to prevent prices doubling.

Ruwais timeline

1971 Abu Dhabi National Oil Company established

1980 Ruwais Housing Complex built, located 10 kilometres away from industrial plants

1982 120,000 bpd capacity Ruwais refinery complex officially inaugurated by the founder of the UAE Sheikh Zayed

1984 Second phase of Ruwais Housing Complex built. Today the 7,000-unit complex houses some 24,000 people.  

1985 The refinery is expanded with the commissioning of a 27,000 b/d hydro cracker complex

2009 Plans announced to build $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in Ruwais, producing urea

2010 Adnoc awards $10bn contracts for expansion of Ruwais refinery, to double capacity from 415,000 bpd

2014 Ruwais 261-outlet shopping mall opens

2014 Production starts at newly expanded Ruwais refinery, providing jet fuel and diesel and allowing the UAE to be self-sufficient for petrol supplies

2014 Etihad Rail begins transportation of sulphur from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais for export

2017 Aldar Academies to operate Adnoc’s schools including in Ruwais from September. Eight schools operate in total within the housing complex.

2018 Adnoc announces plans to invest $3.1 billion on upgrading its Ruwais refinery 

2018 NMC Healthcare selected to manage operations of Ruwais Hospital

2018 Adnoc announces new downstream strategy at event in Abu Dhabi on May 13

Source: The National

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Educatly
Started: 2020
Based: UAE
Founders: Mohmmed El Sonbaty, Joan Manuel and Abdelrahman Ayman
Industry: Education technology
Funding size: $2 million
Investors: Enterprise Ireland, Egypt venture, Plus VC, HBAN, Falak Startups

The Africa Institute 101

Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

The specs

Common to all models unless otherwise stated

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre T-GDi

0-100kph: 5.3 seconds (Elantra); 5.5 seconds (Kona); 6.1 seconds (Veloster)

Power: 276hp

Torque: 392Nm

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual/ 8-Speed Dual Clutch FWD

Price: TBC

Tips for travelling while needing dialysis
  • Inform your doctor about your plans. 
  • Ask about your treatment so you know how it works. 
  • Pay attention to your health if you travel to a hot destination. 
  • Plan your trip well. 
A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

What is a robo-adviser?

Robo-advisers use an online sign-up process to gauge an investor’s risk tolerance by feeding information such as their age, income, saving goals and investment history into an algorithm, which then assigns them an investment portfolio, ranging from more conservative to higher risk ones.

These portfolios are made up of exchange traded funds (ETFs) with exposure to indices such as US and global equities, fixed-income products like bonds, though exposure to real estate, commodity ETFs or gold is also possible.

Investing in ETFs allows robo-advisers to offer fees far lower than traditional investments, such as actively managed mutual funds bought through a bank or broker. Investors can buy ETFs directly via a brokerage, but with robo-advisers they benefit from investment portfolios matched to their risk tolerance as well as being user friendly.

Many robo-advisers charge what are called wrap fees, meaning there are no additional fees such as subscription or withdrawal fees, success fees or fees for rebalancing.

The specs: 2018 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet

Price, base: Dh429,090

Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission Seven-speed automatic

Power 510hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque 700Nm @ 1,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 9.2L / 100km

The specs: 2019 Haval H6

Price, base: Dh69,900

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 197hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 315Nm @ 2,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 7.0L / 100km

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Nick's journey in numbers

Countries so far: 85

Flights: 149

Steps: 3.78 million

Calories: 220,000

Floors climbed: 2,000

Donations: GPB37,300

Prostate checks: 5

Blisters: 15

Bumps on the head: 2

Dog bites: 1

How to come clean about financial infidelity
  • Be honest and transparent: It is always better to own up than be found out. Tell your partner everything they want to know. Show remorse. Inform them of the extent of the situation so they know what they are dealing with.
  • Work on yourself: Be honest with yourself and your partner and figure out why you did it. Don’t be ashamed to ask for professional help. 
  • Give it time: Like any breach of trust, it requires time to rebuild. So be consistent, communicate often and be patient with your partner and yourself.
  • Discuss your financial situation regularly: Ensure your spouse is involved in financial matters and decisions. Your ability to consistently follow through with what you say you are going to do when it comes to money can make all the difference in your partner’s willingness to trust you again.
  • Work on a plan to resolve the problem together: If there is a lot of debt, for example, create a budget and financial plan together and ensure your partner is fully informed, involved and supported. 

Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching

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Company name: baraka
Started: July 2020
Founders: Feras Jalbout and Kunal Taneja
Based: Dubai and Bahrain
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $150,000
Current staff: 12
Stage: Pre-seed capital raising of $1 million
Investors: Class 5 Global, FJ Labs, IMO Ventures, The Community Fund, VentureSouq, Fox Ventures, Dr Abdulla Elyas (private investment)

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 201hp at 5,200rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

Price: Dh133,900

On sale: now

Naga

Director: Meshal Al Jaser

Starring: Adwa Bader, Yazeed Almajyul, Khalid Bin Shaddad

Rating: 4/5

PROFILE OF INVYGO

Started: 2018

Founders: Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo

Based: Dubai

Sector: Transport

Size: 9 employees

Investment: $1,275,000

Investors: Class 5 Global, Equitrust, Gulf Islamic Investments, Kairos K50 and William Zeqiri