SAN DIEGO, Calif. –April 1, 2008 – Applications are now being accepted for the 2008 G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition scholarship of up to $10,000 designed to educate and recruit more women into the field of video game production and design. Sponsored by Sony Online Entertainment LLC. (SOE) a global leader in online gaming, applications and complete rules for entry are available online at www.girl.soe.com.
The SOE G.I.R.L. -- Gamers In Real Life -- competition is the first of its kind to encourage students toward career paths in the field of video game design and production, ultimately resulting in the development of games that are more interesting for women to play.
"The secret is out: Females game. We're just trying to encourage more women to make the games they obviously enjoy playing, said Torrie Dorrell, Senior Vice President of Global Sales 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."
The SOE G.I.R.L competition was created in response to survey findings that focused on women in the field of video games. The survey interviewed female students currently enrolled in Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming and Visual Effects & Motion Graphics programs at The Art Institutes schools. The SOE-sponsored survey revealed that:
--61% of students surveyed believe male dominance in the industry is a deterrent to women pursuing a career in gaming
--42% of those surveyed would like to see women portrayed as leaders in video games
--35% of the students surveyed want to create more games that are fun and interesting for women to play
--31% of those surveyed want to become involved in gaming because more women need to represent the industry
According to the Entertainment Software Association, thirty-eight percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%). 1
The G.I.R.L Game Design Competition officially begins today, April 1, 2008. In order to be eligible to participate, entrants must be currently enrolled at one of The Art Institutes schools, have a graduation date of June 2009 or later and must comply with the Official Rules [Official Rules]. Entrants are required to complete an online application and submit an in-game design, concept art and two (2) essays. Online applications must be completed on or before April 15, 2008 and related asset submissions must be received on or before May 31, 2008. The winner will be announced on or about June 30, 2008.
One skilled student will win up to $10,000 towards tuition for his or her education at The Art Institutes school at which he or she is currently enrolled and a paid internship of up to ten (10) weeks at one of the Sony Online Entertainment studios (located in Austin, Denver, San Diego and Seattle; room, board, transportation and living expenses not included). Entrants will be judged by a panel of industry professionals from SOE. To learn more, visit girl.soe.com.
Following the success of the announcement of the competition, SOE has created an official G.I.R.L blog written by Tracy Seamster, game designer for SOE’s upcoming release, The Agency™. To visit the G.I.R.L blog, go to http://gamersinreallife.wordpress.com/.
Sony Online Entertainment commissioned Insight Express to conduct an online survey of The Art Institutes students in January 2008. A total of 143 students were invited to take the survey via e-mail and 53 students completed the survey (37% response rate).
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment America.