Sony Online Entertainment is encouraging women across America to enter into the male-dominated games industry with this year's G.I.R.L. Program, offering a scholarship of $10,000 toward college tuition and a 10-week paid internship with the developer.
The annual competition, which began in 2008, has seen its winners move on to careers in games development and art design. Scholarship winner Julia Brasil has since gone on to a career as an environmental artist at Secret Identity Studios in San Francisco which is currently developing superhero MMO Marvel Heroes, while 2010 winner Sylvia Liu has gone outside of games development to begin a career as a background artist for Transformers Prime.
"Over the years we've watched the games industry evolve, and now people are gaming from every walk of life because of mobile devices and the different platforms," SOE senior VP of global sales and marketing Laura Naviaux told GamesIndustry.biz. "The genres are evolving and now there's a game for everybody. So it's imperative that we have people on the development teams that are women, because you can't have 18-34 year old men making games for every type of demographic."
SOE will begin accepting applications for its G.I.R.L. program next month. The program supports women over 18 years of age across the U.S., currently studying in an undergraduate program relating to games. Further information regarding competition requirements will be made available on its official Twitter feed.