Are you a G.I.R.L? Want a scholarship?

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a pretty serious lack of women in the video game industry. Sure, there’s a few who are pretty awesome indeed, but they’re still working in a male-dominated environment.

Sony Online Entertainment is doing their bit to try and resolve this imbalance, with their annual G.I.R.L. Scholarship (that’s “Gamer In Real Life”, in case you were wondering).

Applications for the 2010 award are open now – one skilled student will win up to US$10,000, to be applied towards tuition (and other educational expenses) at the school where they are currently enrolled, as well as being offered an optional internship of up to 10 weeks (!) at one of SOE‘s studios.

Laura Naviaux, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Sony Online Entertainment (yep, she’s a lady as well), explains:

“The past two G.I.R.L. Scholarship recipients were such a valued addition to our team that we are thrilled to offer this program for the third consecutive year.

Our goal is to continue to encourage and reward women who share our commitment and passion for developing cutting edge online games for all demographic groups.”

Of course, there is a catch: You have to be currently enrolled in an undergrad program related to video games (which includes video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects), and you can’t graduate before the end of 2011 spring term. Obviously, you also have to comply with the program’s official rules, but that’s a given, right?

…and yes, sorry, you do have to be in the USA for this. C’mon, Sony! We Aussies are G.I.R.L.s too!

Julia Brasil, 2008 winner of the GIRL scholarship

Julia Brasil, 2008 winner of the GIRL scholarship

For more information, as well as details on how to apply (essentially an online application, plus an existing piece of art), head over to, or the Scholarship America site.

If you want a bit of an insider’s perspective, there’s also the Gamers in Real Life blog, which explains how Julia Brasil, who won in 2008, spent ten weeks running around the game studios, and an interview with Rebecca Gleason, the 2009 recipient, who is now studying Experience Design.

Online applications must be completed and submitted on or before February 15, 2010, with the winner to be announced in May. Good luck, G.I.R.L.s!

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