Sony Online Entertainment has announced it is sponsoring a $10,000 scholarship competition with the aim of educating and recruiting more women into video game production and design.
SOE's 2008 G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) Game Design Competition is currently accepting applications. Entrants must be enrolled at an Art Institutes school, have a graduation date of June 2008 or later, and comply with other rules to be eligible.
Applicants also must submit an in-game design, concept art and two essays, and completed applications will be due April 15th, 2008, with assets in by May 31st. The winning applicant, chosen by a panel from SOE, will receive a $10,000 scholarship to her Art Institutes school, as well as a paid ten-week internship at one of SOE's studios.
The company says it created the competition in response to survey findings that focused on issues surrounding women in the game industry.
The survey interviewed female students currently enrolled in game design, art and programming programs at The Art Institutes schools, finding that 61 percent of students believe that "male dominance in the industry" deters women from pursuing careers in games.
42 percent of the survey respondents said they would like to see women portrayed as leaders in video games, and 35 percent expressed a desire to develop more games targeted at female audiences.
SOE SVP of global sales and marketing Torrie Dorrell commented, "The secret is out: Females game. We're just trying to encourage more women to make the games they obviously enjoy playing. ales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "With the application process starting today, we're taking a concrete step towards opening the door a little wider for women who want to go into game development, and that can only help expand our industry's audience."
Interested parties can find further information at girl.soe.com