Ross Duncan interviews Chris van der Kuyl- Dundee based entrepreneur computer games

Chris van der Kuyl is, front and back, a proud northern European based entrepreneur who has successfully been associated with and involved with computer games and other types of technology and computer software since early 1992 but has also seen at first hand the important contribution people with dyslexia have made to the industry and as well as the local economy.
Dundee is on the east coast of Scotland and, for many, an unlikely location for someone to base their international reputation and success from, but as a location has proportionally now become major world player in game design and software being with likes of ‘Minecraft’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto.
Both in the software development side and in the art development side Chris has noticed individuals with dyslexia who might have struggled in learning, but at the same time exhibited the most off the wall creativity in having creative brains that think differently and for him this is a “massive, massive asset in our industry”
In his opinion the education system generally only values people who will think in the same way and measures them in the same way. But this is kind of opposite to what you need when you’re looking to try to solve incredible technological challenges. People who think the same way generally can’t solve something monumental because you need to have a huge amount of diversity. For him “diversity is one of the biggest subjects on the planet”.
At times we get obsessed with different types of diversity and don’t pay enough attention to mindsets and different ways of thinking and learning. As an entrepreneur based in Dundee, his industry is exactly the type that is looking to embrace people who are not the norm, that don’t necessarily go through the traditional educational path. Sometimes we need to improve the way how we attract people. We solve the trap of asking for the same qualifications without measuring it, this is down to the education system to work this out and to tell us about the people rather than qualifications they’ve achieved. This something that we need to get better at because there is so much talent out there that needs to embraced and to add value to the industry.
Dundee as a whole has benefited from this by not taking the traditional route and for him is a “huge advantage “but more importantly being dyslexic should not act as a barrier to someone who performs brilliantly in the industry that Chris is familiar with.

Ross Duncan

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