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Academy Scholar

$10,000 grants on offer to budding game makers.

LAS VEGAS (February 19, 2009) – With the 2009 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit in full swing, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) and The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University announced the establishment of the “Academy Scholar” program. The “Academy Scholar” is designed to build a force of new talent of the best and brightest in interactive entertainment and is awarded bi-annually over the two semesters. The program kicks off for the Fall 2009 semester.

Each semester, $10,000 will be granted to a graduate level candidate in The Guildhall at SMU program. The scholarship will honor an outstanding applicant who exemplifies the AIAS’ spirit and commitment to advance the worldwide interactive entertainment community. It’s about being a game maker, contributing passion and creativity to this dynamic field.

“SMU and AIAS have a shared vision and responsibility to further the industry and support the next generation of game makers,” said Dr. Peter Raad, executive director and founder, The Guildhall at SMU. “Our mission has always been to produce future industry leaders and the very best game professionals. We are honored to have the AIAS has a partner in helping us fulfill this mission.”

“There is no better time for us to invest in the next generation of game makers,” said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. “We want candidates who can share their vision and goals for this industry – our future influentials who will address the challenges of game creation and inspire new ways of making games.”

To be considered for the “Academy Scholar”, a combined panel of senior AIAS members and SMU review board evaluates each admission portfolio and assigns a number which is then averaged. The individuals with the highest rank order are invited to submit an essay for consideration to win the coveted scholarship.

About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. In 2002 the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy has over 10,000 members, with the board comprised of senior executives from the major videogame companies including BioWare/Pandemic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Ubisoft. More information on AIAS and the D.I.C.E. Summit can be found at http://www.interactive.org and http://www.dicesummit.org.

About The Guildhall at SMU

The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is the premier graduate video game education program in the US. Many of the school’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. In five years, the program has graduated over 250 students and alums have worked at more than 80 video game studios around the world, with several graduates now serving in leadership positions. SMU offers both a Master’s degree and a graduate Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in art creation, level design, and software development. For more information, visit www.guildhall.smu.edu

Press Contacts: Wendy Zaas/Debby Chen Ron Jenkins

Rogers & Cowan The Guildhall at SMU

(310) 854-8148/ (310) 854-8168 (972) 473-3546

wzaas@rogersandcowan.com jenkinsr@smu.edu


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