SOE awards fourth G.I.R.L. scholarship

by: Sean Colleli -
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With the whole PSN business still causing fallout it's nice to see SOE giving back to the community. They've just awarded the fourth annual G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) scholarship to Alicia Crawford, a game art student in La Quinta, California. The scholarship is a $10,000 education grant that goes toward getting young women involved in the game industry, something I think we can all agree is good for game development. Crawford will use the grant toward her tuition at the Inland Empire's Art Institute of California, and will also be taking a 10-week paid internship at SOE.

Getting more women involved in game development is crucial to the growth of the art form, at least in my opinion. Game development is still too much of a guys' club due to long standing social norms. In particular, I'd like to see more complex stories and characters not aimed at teenage boys; instead of stereotypes like Master Chief and innumerable scantily clad tuff gurl characters, wouldn't it be nice to see more protagonists like Adam Jensen and Alyx Vance? I think a more varied set of perspectives across both genders can give us that badly needed spectrum.

Fourth Annual Competition Supports Educational Advancement and

Offers Opportunity to Gain Industry Experience

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - June 21, 2011 - Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that Alicia Crawford of La Quinta, Calif. has been named the winner of the 2011 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. Now in its fourth year, the scholarship aims to inspire more women to get involved in all aspects of video game development and encourage students to pursue careers in the creative and applied arts.

Crawford, a game art and design student at the Inland Empire's Art Institute of California, was awarded the $10,000 scholarship to use toward her tuition and other educational expenses. She has also accepted a 10-week paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego where she will work on one of the company's many hit titles.

"It's such an honor to be recognized for my work by a major video game publisher and I'm extremely thankful to SOE for this opportunity," said Crawford."Winning the G.I.R.L. scholarship fuels my desire to work in the gaming industry and my existing passion for video games."

As part of the competition, finalists were asked to submit two pieces of original concept art inspired by either Free Realms® or EverQuest®II, and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry to a panel of judges.

"Supporting the education and careers of young artists drives our ever-evolving industry forward by adding fresh perspectives and new innovative ideas that help shape the future of games as we know them," said Laura Naviaux, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Once again, we've selected an individual we are extremely proud to have represent our G.I.R.L. scholarship program and hope that talented young women, such as Alicia, continue to embrace and pursue the creative opportunities available inthe gaming industry."

For more information about G.I.R.L., please visit To follow G.I.R.L. on Twitter, go to or to join G.I.R.L. on Facebook, go to
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