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SOE announces the winner of the GIRL scholarship

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California Institute of the Arts student Erin Loelius is the winner of the Sony Online Entertainment Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship, the company announced today.

The GIRL Scholarship rewards its winners with a $10,000 scholarship for educational expenses and a 10 week paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego.

"SOE has prided itself on being a major catalyst of women's involvement in our industry," said Laura Naviaux, SOE's senior VP of global sales and marketing.

"As our company continues to evolve and diversify our portfolio, we've found it imperative to refine our approach with game art and development, seeking out varied perspectives from the current and future leading voices in the industry. The market for compelling and original online game experiences is rapidly evolving and as a publisher it is our responsibility to listen and celebrate the spectrum of play styles among our global community, and deliver innovation in art, design and technology."

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.

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 can be found on its official Twitter feed.