Gaming is serious business at GAMES12

Aah to be young and in the middle of a bossfight again!


Step into GAMES12 and you would be forgiven for believing you’re in a world far more magical than one Walt Disney himself could ever create – well at least so if you had the slightest interest in video games. The largest video game festival in the region was held on the weekend gone by at DFC in Dubai, and has attracted crowds from all over the GCC. Jointly organized by Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation Division, Red Entertainment Distribution, and Pluto Games (collectively called Gaming Alliance Middle East – GAME. Geddit?) is in its 5th year running and has quickly become the highlight event for the gaming community.

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Why I’m supporting the UAE Blackberry ban

We’re just over 2 weeks away from the final decision about the Blackberry ban in the UAE and as we draw closer to the date, I find myself supporting the ban. Now I know this sounds absolutely ludicrous but hear me out, there is a (partly) sound logic behind this.

There is no doubt that the Blackberry does email like no other device and to businesses it is practically irreplaceable, but the reason it has picked up steam among end consumers – at least here in the UAE – is the Blackberry Messenger service. The instant messaging service has been a rage, especially among younger consumers, reducing their spend to a fraction of what it would be over text messaging. However, apart from these two capabilities, the Blackberry doesn’t put up much of a fight against the iPhone and Android devices. (The physical keyboard is fantastic but that’s hardly the decisive factor for end consumers) Bar a few, the applications on Blackberry don’t come close to matching those on the iPhone and Android, both in terms of functionality and a visual experience. More importantly the browser on the Blackberries (both OS4.x and OS5) makes browsing a chore and leaves a lot to be desired. Compare this to the speed and fluidity of the Android and iPhone browser and the Blackberry browser seems bloated and clunky.

Should the ban go into effect, a major chunk of the users who have tasted the mobile internet blood will move to a data enabled device; hopefully an iPhone or an Android. And with that happening, these users will spend more time browsing the internet on their mobiles and engaging with apps and games. This state of increased mobile web consumption is what I’m looking forward to so the region can move – albeit forcefully – towards being a more developed mobile audience.

Now I know that the Blackberry OS6 supports Webkit browsing and is a dramatic improvement over the previous versions but how many users can we really expect to make the jump? A survey by YouGov Siraj says about 2/3rd of the users will switch from their Blackberries should the ban come into effect.

At the end of it, I do hope that there is some form of a resolution, atleast for corporate users. But as consumers, I believe users stand to gain a lot more than they know, technologically speaking of course.

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UAE loves to socialize

It finally happened, the first Social Media Day was celebrated all across the world including the UAE and it was a huge success. UAE’s version of it was held at The Shelter in Al Quoz, Dubai. The event was spearheaded by @mita56 , but in a true social manner, it was crowd-sourced with helping coming in from various means. The evening saw a turn out of over 200 people which included both individuals and businesses.

The main area had a bazaar style layout with businesses on either ends – everything from Home made toffees like @toffeeprincess to training companies like @Loomni – who got the platform to connect to a community they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. . The event even had an iPad 360 give away by @me360 and the lucky winner for that was @Dorksterdave. Local student darlings @campusradiome was present broadcasting live from the venue and despite my requests, they did not let me read the news. The inside room featured talks. The event also featured community talks which were on topics ranging from Nutrition among Emirati Society to Educating for Road Safety.

The atmosphere, as is always at such an event, was very jovial. People formed new relationships and strengthened existing ones.

Pictures from the event can be seen here (by @mich1mich) and here (by @faisalkhatib)

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Social Media Day comes to UAE – #SMDayUAE

Mashable believes Social Media deserves a day of its own. And why not, Social Media has dramatically affected a lot of things we do daily. So 30th June is the date when enthusiasts and businesses will meet up worldwide to celebrate #SMDay. Local twelebrity Mita Srinivasan (@mita56) is heading the efforts to celebrate Social Media Day here in the UAE. Of course, as is the case with all things Social Media, she is getting support from the community.

The event takes place on the 30th of June at The Shelter although celebrations will begin on 26th June with Social Media Week (#SMWeek on Twitter) with local businesses offering special promotions as “Social Media Offers” at their venues and web locations.

Businesses can register their interest for Social Media day here

Individual may RSVP on the Facebook Event page and become a fan on the fanpage. For updates follow @SMdayUAE

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