Sony Online Entertainment is taking applications from now until March 19 for its 2014 G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) scholarship program. Only the first 3,000 applications will be considered, and you've got some work ahead of you. Step one, read all the official rules. Step two, determine if you're eligible, considering the undergrad program you're in – it needs to be game design-related – and if you've got a 3.00 GPA or higher. Step three, submit your application to Scholarship Management Services. Step four, submit concept art and captions – that are specifically PlanetSide 2 or EverQuest-related – and a 500-word essay answering these two questions:
1) How can you change and improve the image of women in games?
2) How do you think such changes will help create games that more women will want to play?
Interestingly, I didn't see anything in the official rules saying you have to be female to apply. It may not be in keeping with the spirit of "helping to create more opportunities for women in game design," but I could be wrong.
The winner gets $10,000 to throw at their tuition, room and board, and other education-related expenses; and they'll get up to a 10-week paid internship at SOE headquarters in San Diego, California.
To the winner: congratulations! To the 14 semifinalists who'll receive nothing: bummer!
SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2014 G.I.R.L. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
SAN DIEGO - Feb. 5, 2014 - Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is now accepting applications and submissions for its 2014 Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. Through the G.I.R.L. scholarship program, SOE will award one winner with a $10,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses at the winner's college or university. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will also be given the opportunity to be hired as a paid intern for up to 10 weeks at SOE's headquarters in San Diego for hands-on experience working on award-winning franchises, including PlanetSide® and EverQuest®.
Now in its seventh year, the scholarship has played a major role with helping aspiring game developers gain knowledge and skills in the video game design field, while providing them with valuable assistance for educational expenses. Past winners have gone on to make their own impact across the gaming and art industries.
"The G.I.R.L. Scholarship aims to be the first step towards empowering bright careers for young women in the video game industry," said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "By helping to create more opportunities for women in game design, we are helping to shepherd fresh perspectives and new ideas into our industry."
Submissions for the 2014 G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition will close on March 19, 2014. To apply, applicants must register with Scholarship America®, SOE's scholarship administrator, and submit their application for evaluation, as directed here: https://www.scholarsapply.org/gamersinreallife.
For more information about G.I.R.L., please visit www.girl.soe.com. To follow G.I.R.L. on Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/SOE_GIRL or to join G.I.R.L. on Facebook, go to http://tinyurl.com/SOE-GIRL.
Media assets, including G.I.R.L. 2013 winner PlanetSide 2 internship contributions, are available here: http://bhimpact.gamespress.com/product_page.asp?i=1213.
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games. Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, PlanetSide® 2, DC Universe™ Online, and the highly anticipated EverQuest Next Landmark™ and EverQuest Next™, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms. SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages. To learn more, visit www.soe.com.
SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest, Champions of Norrath, and PlanetSideare registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
About Scholarship America®
Scholarship America® is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Scholarship America has distributed more than $3.1 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 2 million students since 1958. Scholarship America's programs, which include Dollars for Scholars®, help fund both entry-level and multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants. More information is available at www.scholarshipamerica.org.