Sony Online Entertainment to Help Girls Get Their Game On

- G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program Helps Boost Female Educational Opportunity -


In response to findings from a survey it conducted focusing on women and video games, Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) a global leader in online gaming, today announced a progressive new scholarship program with The Art Institutes designed to educate and recruit more women into the video game industry.

The official SOE G.I.R.L. -- Gamers In Real Life -- scholarship is the first of its kind with The Art Institutes to encourage students toward career paths in the creative and applied arts, ultimately resulting in the development of games that are more interesting for women to play.

"It's no secret to female gamers: Women are out there in significant numbers, playing MMOs, action games, first-person shooters, etc. What is lacking in the equation are women behind these games and we hope G.I.R.L. can help support this program," said Torrie Dorrell, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "SOE's program is a key component of our G.I.R.L. initiative because the scholarship will be the gateway for one student into this field of expertise; I invite other publishers to join us in supporting this initiative."

The survey interviewed female students currently enrolled in Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming and Visual Effects & Motion Graphics at The Art Institutes schools. The SOE-sponsored survey revealed that:

  --  61% of students surveyed believe male dominance in the industry is a
      deterrent to women pursuing a career in gaming
  --  42% of those surveyed would like to see women portrayed as leaders in
      video games
  --  35% of the students surveyed want to create more games that are fun
      and interesting for women to play
  --  31% of those surveyed want to become involved in gaming because more
      women need to represent the industry

According to Entertainment Software Association's website, thirty-eight percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%). (1)

The G.I.R.L Scholarship will officially begin on April 1, 2008. In order to be eligible to participate, entrants must be a current student at one of The Art Institutes schools. Students are required to submit an in-game design, concept art and two essays. The deadline to enter is May 31, 2008. The winner will be announced on or about June 30, 2008.

One skilled student will win a $10,000 tuition scholarship towards his or her education at The Art Institutes school at which he or she is currently enrolled and a paid internship of up to ten (10) weeks at one of the Sony Online Entertainment studios (located in Austin, Denver, San Diego and Seattle). Entrants will be judged by a panel of industry professionals from SOE. To learn more, visit

Survey Methodology

Sony Online Entertainment LLC commissioned Insight Express to conduct an online survey of The Art Institutes students in January 2008. A total of 143 students were invited to take the survey via e-mail and 53 students completed the survey (37% response rate).

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment America.


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SOURCE: Sony Online Entertainment LLC

CONTACT: Sara Kaplan of Sony Online Entertainment LLC, +1-858-790-3541,