Sony Online Entertainment Announces 2013 G.I.R.L. Scholarship Winner

Sixth Annual Game Art Design Competition Awards Scholarship and Provides Opportunity For Student Designer to Work on Successful SOE Titles


SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that Esther Wu of Brooklyn, New York has been named the winner of the 2013 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. Now in its sixth year, the scholarship program was established to encourage women to pursue careers in the video game industry in the areas of development and design.

Wu, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship to use for her college tuition and other educational expenses. In addition, she will spend 10 weeks on a paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego. Following graduation, Wu aspires to work as a concept artist on AAA video games.

"It's exhilarating to be selected for this amazing opportunity to work alongside some of the industry's best game artists at SOE in California," said Wu. "I think this competition is important because it represents a stepping stone for artists and helps build awareness about gender in the work environment."

As part of the competition, finalists were asked to submit two pieces of original concept art inspired by either PlanetSide 2® or EverQuest®II, and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry. The submission was reviewed by a panel of judges from Sony Online Entertainment. Wu's winning art entry was inspired by the vehicles and characters in PlanetSide 2. Her goal with the piece was to transform the general design and add new perspective.

"As public conversation on gender issues evolves, SOE is committed to leading by example and providing talented women with relevant experience in the games industry," said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "We urge more organizations to consider similar scholarship programs focused on encouraging these talented artists and designers –we need more women in this industry."

"Esther's entry exhibited both creativity and an impressive level of concept skills," said Joe Shoopack, Director of Artist Development, Sony Online Entertainment. "Every year the entries continue to impress us more, showcasing the incredible talent of student artists and designers across the country."

For the 2013 internship and scholarship, Sony Online Entertainment received applications from students at universities across the country. The G.I.R.L. submission phase closed on March 29, 2013. Scholarship America®, SOE's scholarship administrator, narrowed down the submissions to a pool of semi-finalists based on certain eligibility criteria.

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

To view more art from this year's G.I.R.L. winner, visit her on Facebook at:

Media assets are available here:

About Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games.  Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars AdventuresDC UniverseOnline, and the recently launched PlanetSide®2, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms.  SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages. To learn more, visit

SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest, Champions of NorrathPlanetSide and Free Realms are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

About Scholarship America®
Scholarship America® is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.9 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.9 million students over the last 50 years. Scholarship America's programs, which include Dollars for Scholars®, help fund both entry-level and multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants. More information is available at

SOURCE Sony Online Entertainment LLC

For further information: Michele Cagle, Sony Online Entertainment, 858-577-3167,