Sony, ESA Offering Money for Minorities Entering Games Industry
In an effort to make the video games industry more diverse, Sony and the Entertainment Software Association have set up new scholarship funds which offer thousands of dollars to women and minorities interested in pursuing certain video games fields.
Surveys Reveal Women’s Thoughts on Games Industry
The drive to create new scholarship funds was inspired by recent findings of a survey conducted by Sony Online. The survey, conducted among females enrolled in video games programs at certain Art Institute schools, found that 61% of students believe women are turned away from careers in the games industry because of its domination by males. And yet, having more women in the games industry field could be quite beneficial, since 38% of video game players are women, and since 35% of the students surveyed want to make games more geared toward women.
Sony’s Scholarship Fund
Thus, companies like Sony are now offering new scholarships for women. Sony’s scholarship contest will grant up to $10,000 in tuition money to a woman who is already enrolled in an Art Institute school. The scholarship will require applicants to complete two essays and submit interesting in-game design and concept art. In addition to receiving money, the winner will also receive a 10 week paid internship at Sony Online.
ESA’s Scholarship Fund
The Entertainment Software Association has also set up a new scholarship fund, but is offering its scholarship to minorities as well as women. The ESA scholarship only requires that applicants be fully enrolled in an undergraduate college or university, though they must be planning on entering a video games school. The Foundation is accepting applications, and will be awarding fifteen $3,000 scholarships in all.
Goal of the Scholarship Programs
Sony and the Entertainment Software Association are optimistic that the new scholarships will increase the diversity of the video games industry.
As Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA said, “We hope these scholarships will encourage students to pursue careers in this growing and lucrative field. We offer this program to help create our industry’s next generation who will boost the industry’s creative capital with new and unique approaches.”
Those interested in creating video games but not quite ready to make the commitment to a full-time education may also be interested in Microsoft’s Xbox Live Community Games program, which allows gamers to create their own games and put them online for others to download for a low price.