Sony's G.I.R.L. Scholarship Opens For Applicants

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Sony's G.I.R.L. Scholarship Opens For Applicants

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College students can now apply for a chance to see Sony Online Entertainment from the inside.

Note: Contrary to the original report, both male and female applicants may submit for a chance at the scholarship. We have updated the post to reflect this.

Sony's female-focused game design competition, Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.), is now accepting applicants. The program offers one winner $10,000 towards furthering their education as well as a 10-week paid internship with Sony Online Entertainment.

To be eligible for the competition, applicants must be over the age of 18, currently enrolled in an undergraduate program that applies in some way to gaming. Each applicant must hold at least a 3.00 GPA.

Submissions take the form of two pieces of concept art as well as a 500-word essay that must answer the questions "How can you change and improve the image of women in games?" and "How do you think such changes will help create games that more women will want to play?"

The G.I.R.L. scholarship program is currently in its 6th year, having been founded in 2008. "At SOE, we believe that diversity is one of our keys to success and it is truly woven into the fabric of who we are as a company," notes SOE's Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Laura Naviaux. "We want to help make the games industry even that much more approachable and our goal with the G.I.R.L. Scholarship is to provide an easy way to usher even more women into the industry."

If you're interested in possibly applying for the program, you can view all the rules and specifics on the program's official submissions page.

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I give it two pages before someone brings up sexism.

Edit: Very generous indeed. I should probably make that "a few posts".

How do we erase sexism in the videogame industry?
By making schools that only accept females! What a great idea /sarcasm

EDIT: Dogstile, you were very generous in expecting two pages

Dogstile:
I give it two pages before someone brings up sexism.

more like two posts.

I see what they are trying to do here, but its kinda like a kid trying to make things by apologizing to someone for calling them a name and then calling them the name again while apologizing. They mean well, but they screwed it up kinda.

Edit: Then again when you think about it, there are a lot of scholarships based on gender/race.

Look, Sony, I see what you're trying to do, and it's admirable, but...goddamn, this has to be the most hamfisted way of implementing in. I mean G.I.R.L.? Seriously? This is what you think is treating women seriously? Christ.

If having a penis shouldn't be a qualifier for a scholarship, then neither should having a vagina.
At least they're making sure the applicants are good students first

Well, when wanting to sell to people outside the "straight white male" demographic, this is one way to start. Hope it leads to good things.

Froggy Slayer:
Look, Sony, I see what you're trying to do, and it's admirable, but...goddamn, this has to be the most hamfisted way of implementing in. I mean G.I.R.L.? Seriously? This is what you think is treating women seriously? Christ.

Dude, it's Sony. "Ham-fisted implementation" is kind of their thing.

Yes! How dare they restrict scholarships to certain demographics!

You think sexism is the problem? At least that one applies to 50% of the world's population.

At least 90% of ALL people EVERYWHERE are being EXCLUDED just because they aren't residents of the USA. This rampant nationism has to stop, it has to stop now!

I know there are a lot of people (including a lot of women) who are fine with it, but the term 'girl' shouldn't be applied to 'woman'! (Although I do admit I like how the acronym unpacks.)

The nitpicking of this scholarship's validity within the first 9 threads is kind of disturbing to see.

Reminds me of the horrible "Science: its a girl thing" advert the EU put out a few months back.

*Facepalm* So it begins. Some people just don't know how to do these sort of well intentioned things without putting a gigantic bullseye on themselves and giving the MRA types a brand new yelling point.

These people are fighting sexism like the Redcoats fought the French/Indians....

GunsmithKitten:
*Facepalm* So it begins. Some people just don't know how to do these sort of well intentioned things without putting a gigantic bullseye on themselves and giving the MRA types a brand new yelling point.

Assuming it was well intentioned, rather than something aimed at looking like they are.

But yeah, this is clearly the worst thing ever and proof that the feminists are taking over and destroying society, this never happened under Bush etc

The only thing I don't really like is the idea of "How do you think such changes will help create games that more women will want to play?"

There is this rather odd idea that most games are aimed at males. Yes, most action games are, certainly. Ones that involve violence and other such things, but that's not most games overall. This idea will perhaps be helpful for those who make triple A shooters and such, but to be honest, they aren't into making games to please people, they are in games to make money. It's why they go for the lowest common denominator rather than putting effort into making believable characters and solid plots.

Those kinds of developers make games aimed at teenage males, because such games will give them the best return. Hell, Epic talking about the lack of a female lead in Gears of War is evidence of that.

The backwards attitude of some developers will certainly help there be more decent female characters, and more big name games that may appeal to women, but sexism men isn't the only cause behind it. Money making as a primary motivation, and society still living under the "Computer games are for little boys and man-children" idea are just as guilty.

On a side note. I see ten times as many people go into threads such as these to post nothing except "INB4 Bigots", than actual bigots. Do people think it makes them open minded and clever to point out that such topics are going to attract trolls, or flame-baiters? I am sure it should count as low content posting.

Hagi:
Yes! How dare they restrict scholarships to certain demographics!

You think sexism is the problem? At least that one applies to 50% of the world's population.

At least 90% of ALL people EVERYWHERE are being EXCLUDED just because they aren't residents of the USA. This rampant nationism has to stop, it has to stop now!

Not really a comparable argument. Living outside of the country kind of stops you from being able to attend you see. Not to mention that different countries have different grading systems, and all the other jazz such as visa's and so on.

Yes, I get you were not being entirely serious, but you seemed to be mocking those who might call it sexist by bringing up an incomparable example.

GunsmithKitten:
*Facepalm* So it begins. Some people just don't know how to do these sort of well intentioned things without putting a gigantic bullseye on themselves and giving the MRA types a brand new yelling point.

I am not sure what this has to do with magnetic resonance angiography.

You know, I really don't see how giving scholarships out to only women is a means of striving for gender equality. Equality means that a person is judged on their own merits, without secondary considerations like gender, race, class, religion, nationality, or whatever else.

Froggy Slayer:
Look, Sony, I see what you're trying to do, and it's admirable, but...goddamn, this has to be the most hamfisted way of implementing in. I mean G.I.R.L.? Seriously? This is what you think is treating women seriously? Christ.

dude no one from feminists to whoever complains when its women in"..." scholarships anywhere else no one will here.

Honestly Im cool with it like I know that in 20 years when there are more women than men making games no one will give me a scholarship but Im too apathetic to really care.:)

Women are equal to men.

You hear this sentiment alot & i always hope its true.... But if women are equal to men, then why on earth do women require so much support, above & beyond that available to men; ala sexist women only scholarships?

I mean isn't this exactly why we still don't treat women like equals? Because on some level we know that we can't be equal if i have to fight tooth & nail to achieve a result, while a woman trying to achieve the same result had her road to success paved by the charity of other men?

Women are equal to men: Maybe its time we actually treat them like it.

Legion:

Hagi:
Yes! How dare they restrict scholarships to certain demographics!

You think sexism is the problem? At least that one applies to 50% of the world's population.

At least 90% of ALL people EVERYWHERE are being EXCLUDED just because they aren't residents of the USA. This rampant nationism has to stop, it has to stop now!

Not really a comparable argument. Living outside of the country kind of stops you from being able to attend you see. Not to mention that different countries have different grading systems, and all the other jazz such as visa's and so on.

Yes, I get you were not being entirely serious, but you seemed to be mocking those who might call it sexist by bringing up an incomparable example.

Because Sony Online Entertainment doesn't have offices outside of the states nor are there respectable universities elsewhere nor are there things like standards for grading systems.

And yes, I am mocking those who call this sexist. Not everything limited to one gender is done out of any sense of that the different genders are of different value.

There's nothing unfair about providing an incentive to a certain group for whom there are also societal obstacles for a given path. Exactly because the two genders are of equal value that incentive is given so that valuable people, regardless of their sex, can get the opportunities to express their talents.

Hagi:
And yes, I am mocking those who call this sexist. Not everything limited to one gender is done out of any sense of that the different genders are of different value.

SEXISM: Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's gender

hmmmm, i wonder what discrimination means... Lets go look that up

DISCRIMINATION: Discrimination is the prejudicial or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, such as their age, ethnicity, gender/sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, skin color, or other characteristics.[1] It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual's actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making

So in otherwords, not only is G.I.R.L actually both sexism & descrimination its the literal definition.

Hagi:
There's nothing unfair about providing an incentive to a certain group for whom there are also societal obstacles for a given path.

Wow, i wasn't aware possessing a vagina was a societal obstacle to artistic design. In fact i just checked with some medical professionals, possession of a vagina doesn't hamper ones creative abilities at all.

It almost seems like your opinion is incredibly sexist.

Hagi:
Exactly because the two genders are of equal value that incentive is given so that valuable people, regardless of their sex, can get the opportunities to express their talents.

Except that this is the exact opposite of that. Its almost like i showed you a living person & you tried to tell me its a corpse. If both people are equally valuable, then by extension of that concept both groups should be given an equal chance to get into the program based on merit. Keeping out 50% of the people on the basis of gender, is not both groups being equally valuable... Its one group being given a chance at a free ride & the other group being told to please fuck off.

dont worry, most of them will be g.i.r.l.'s indeed
image

I'm going to join the "ham-fisted" brigade on this one; I mean I get what they're tryin to do, but this just seems...clumsy. Then again, it's also a PR stunt and I have an inherent aversion to those.

Still, want more women in the industry? A good place to start would be signing up the ones who are interested in working in the industry, and have the skills.

matthew_lane:

Hagi:
And yes, I am mocking those who call this sexist. Not everything limited to one gender is done out of any sense of that the different genders are of different value.

SEXISM: Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's gender

hmmmm, i wonder what discrimination means... Lets go look that up

DISCRIMINATION: Discrimination is the prejudicial or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, such as their age, ethnicity, gender/sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, skin color, or other characteristics.[1] It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual's actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making

So in otherwords, not only is G.I.R.L actually both sexism & descrimination its the literal definition.

Hagi:
There's nothing unfair about providing an incentive to a certain group for whom there are also societal obstacles for a given path.

Wow, i wasn't aware possessing a vagina was a societal obstacle to artistic design. In fact i just checked with some medical professionals, possession of a vagina doesn't hamper ones creative abilities at all.

It almost seems like your opinion is incredibly sexist.

Hagi:
Exactly because the two genders are of equal value that incentive is given so that valuable people, regardless of their sex, can get the opportunities to express their talents.

Except that this is the exact opposite of that. Its almost like i showed you a living person & you tried to tell me its a corpse. If both people are equally valuable, then by extension of that concept both groups should be given an equal chance to get into the program based on merit. Keeping out 50% of the people on the basis of gender, is not both groups being equally valuable... Its one group being given a chance at a free ride & the other group being told to please fuck off.

Because quoting dictionaries is the ultimate argument!

Because there's no such thing as peer pressure against women seeking careers in technological fields!

image

Nobody will ever question a guy seeking to become a programmer, 3D artist or other game-related profession based on his gender. Don't tell me you honestly believe the same applies to women...

Young girls and women face obstacles when seeking careers in this direction that men simply don't in the form of peer pressure and societal expectations. The opposite likewise applies to men seeking careers in educational or caretaking fields. Just imagine the reaction you would get from the world around you if you chose to make your career as a nurse or at a day care center.

There's absolutely nothing unfair or discriminatory to provide a counter-weight to that peer pressure and those societal expectations in the form such as programs as this to ensure that the actual practical reality does indeed present equal opportunities to both sexes.

Hagi:

Because there's no such thing as peer pressure against women seeking careers in technological fields!

Nobody will ever question a guy seeking to become a programmer, 3D artist or other game-related profession based on his gender. Don't tell me you honestly believe the same applies to women...

Young girls and women face obstacles when seeking careers in this direction that men simply don't in the form of peer pressure and societal expectations. The opposite likewise applies to men seeking careers in educational or caretaking fields. Just imagine the reaction you would get from the world around you if you chose to make your career as a nurse or at a day care center.

There's absolutely nothing unfair or discriminatory to provide a counter-weight to that peer pressure and those societal expectations in the form such as programs as this to ensure that the actual practical reality does indeed present equal opportunities to both sexes.

While I agree with most of your points. Saying that discrimination in one area to counter discrimination in another does not mean that discrimination doesn't take place.

Men cannot apply simply because they are men. That is discrimination by it's very definition. As for whether or not it "matters", that's debatable, and personally I don't really care that it's for women only. That doesn't change the fact that by being so it is sexist.

On another note: You mock Matthew for backing up his argument using a dictionary definition, yet back yours up using a satirical comic strip. How does that work?

rhizhim:
dont worry, most of them will be g.i.r.l.'s indeed
image

MmmM! Dat red head in the middle... :P

Dogstile:
I give it two pages before someone brings up sexism.

Edit: Very generous indeed. I should probably make that "a few posts".

Well you brought up sexism in the very first post. So your post made your prediction come true!

Ot: Yay for proactive sexism I guess?

Yes it's *technically* sexist, and yes it could be handled much better (heads up Sony, but girls do already play lots of video games, despite what that second question of yours could be implying). But overall, this will hopefully turn out to be a good thing.

Knowing men and women in the industry and throughout universities, both for general computer science stuff, and for games... Women get way too much crap thrown their way. Hell, it was really hard for the girls I know in computer science courses to do anything without getting pretty severe derogatory remarks and attitudes headed their way.

So once again, I think that this could have been handled much better, but overall, getting more women to enter the field (and without having to put up with the surprising amount of misogyny just to get in) is a good thing.

TriGGeR_HaPPy:

So once again, I think that this could have been handled much better, but overall, giving more women a chance to enter the field without having to put up with the surprising amount of misogynistic guys is a good thing.

But... It wont do that.

giving them a bit of free money will still put them in the same classes as those guys, they will still need to deal with those guys when they need more money (10k wouldnt have gone very far when I was looking at game related programs), and in the work place.

This just adds to bad images those same guys will use. "Welp, she couldnt get by on talent alone so she had to go into an only girls scholarship to make it."

I can't find the part where it's declared that you have to be a female in order to take part in the program...

Can somebody help?

Desert Punk:

TriGGeR_HaPPy:

So once again, I think that this could have been handled much better, but overall, giving more women a chance to enter the field without having to put up with the surprising amount of misogynistic guys is a good thing.

But... It wont do that.

giving them a bit of free money will still put them in the same classes as those guys, they will still need to deal with those guys when they need more money (10k wouldnt have gone very far when I was looking at game related programs), and in the work place.

This just adds to bad images those same guys will use. "Welp, she couldnt get by on talent alone so she had to go into an only girls scholarship to make it."

Sorry, it's getting late where I am and I'm about to head to bed, so I've posed my point... Really quite horribly. :S

In the short-term, this will only directly help a select few individuals, but it could help more girls to decide to head into the industry with more support like this. And while it won't outright stop it, long-term more females in the industry in general will go a long way towards lowering those attitudes.

As for the short-term itself, yeah they'll still have to deal with those attitudes. But from the girls I've known who have had to drop out in the cases it's gotten that bad, it's never for just 1 problem, but because it's been a mixture of problems, both with those attitudes, and being a student and worrying about money. That is, the unfortunately all too common case of smaller problems forming together to simply overwhelm the students and stopping them from being able to continue the course.

Just 10k isn't much in the long-run, no, but hopefully it'll be enough that it can knock short-term monetary problems (rent, groceries, bills, etc.) off their list of worries, and help them finish their course. Once again referring to my personal experiences with people, I've seen cases where this has happened, i.e. a scholarship being the difference between dropping out and continuing the course... For example, a scholarship in the second year, helping a female friend I knew complete their computer science course when they thought they were gonna drop out soon, because they simply needed to get a good paying job asap or else face other consequences at home (such as having to move because they can't pay rent, etc.).

I know I'm relying on personal experience too much in this conversation, normally I'd look up statistics and such to help my argument, but I'm too tired.
And you'd think that after all this time on this site I'd have learned not to contribute to a thread when tired. But apparently not. :P
I do also apologise for my poor tired-articulation... >_>

Legion:

Hagi:

Because there's no such thing as peer pressure against women seeking careers in technological fields!

Nobody will ever question a guy seeking to become a programmer, 3D artist or other game-related profession based on his gender. Don't tell me you honestly believe the same applies to women...

Young girls and women face obstacles when seeking careers in this direction that men simply don't in the form of peer pressure and societal expectations. The opposite likewise applies to men seeking careers in educational or caretaking fields. Just imagine the reaction you would get from the world around you if you chose to make your career as a nurse or at a day care center.

There's absolutely nothing unfair or discriminatory to provide a counter-weight to that peer pressure and those societal expectations in the form such as programs as this to ensure that the actual practical reality does indeed present equal opportunities to both sexes.

While I agree with most of your points. Saying that discrimination in one area to counter discrimination in another does not mean that discrimination doesn't take place.

Men cannot apply simply because they are men. That is discrimination by it's very definition. As for whether or not it "matters", that's debatable, and personally I don't really care that it's for women only. That doesn't change the fact that by being so it is sexist.

On another note: You mock Matthew for backing up his argument using a dictionary definition, yet back yours up using a satirical comic strip. How does that work?

That's the thing about dictionary definitions. They're true, in theory.

But they often don't quite cover the real spirit of the word, you've got to use your own judgement for that (and yes, that does turn things subjective, vague and altogether more difficult, welcome to reality).

Sexism and discrimination, to me, includes value judgments. This situation does not judge either a men's value or a woman's value. It's based on the belief that both genders have equal value and thus deserve equal opportunity. Seeing that one gender faces more peer pressure and societal expectations in this field than the other it offers support to that gender to ensure equal opportunities are indeed provided, exactly because both have equal value. Not because men have less value.

Therefore I don't see this as either sexism and discrimination even though when going purely by dictionary definitions it would be. Because the spirit and motivation behind it is entirely different, something that isn't and can't be covered in a dictionary.

As for backing myself up with silly comics, that's kinda part of the whole mocking thing. It's by definition (both dictionary and spirit) not entirely serious, most certainly not scientific and probably somewhat childish. But I'm cool with that, it amuses me to do so.

5 minutes of research later:

4. Who can apply for the G.I.R.L. Scholarship?
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2014 spring term.

source: https://www.soe.com/girl/faq.vm

the arguing can stop now...regardless of the rather odd choice for an acronym, this scholarship is NOT limited to female applicants

Am I the only one who immediately thought of Ryan Gosling?

savageobliviOn:
5 minutes of research later:

4. Who can apply for the G.I.R.L. Scholarship?
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2014 spring term.

source: https://www.soe.com/girl/faq.vm

the arguing can stop now...regardless of the rather odd choice for an acronym, this scholarship is NOT limited to female applicants

Shhh people are trying to have a righteous old rant, stop spoiling it with your silly facts.

boots:
Am I the only one who immediately thought of Ryan Gosling?

savageobliviOn:
5 minutes of research later:

4. Who can apply for the G.I.R.L. Scholarship?
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2014 spring term.

source: https://www.soe.com/girl/faq.vm

the arguing can stop now...regardless of the rather odd choice for an acronym, this scholarship is NOT limited to female applicants

Shhh people are trying to have a righteous old rant, stop spoiling it with your silly facts.

but...but i just... *sniff*

image

*goes back to lurking*

savageoblivi0n:
5 minutes of research later:

4. Who can apply for the G.I.R.L. Scholarship?
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2014 spring term.

source: https://www.soe.com/girl/faq.vm

the arguing can stop now...regardless of the rather odd choice for an acronym, this scholarship is NOT limited to female applicants

Actually it is. This lack of a qualifier on there page has been questioned before. Men are exempt from entering, even though it doesn't say so on there web page, it does say so on the physical hard copy paper work. It turns out that legally what they are doing is indeed sexism & they had to remove the clause from the web version... However they are still not accepting entries from male participants.

Scholarship America has already confirmed this, apparently.

matthew_lane:

savageoblivi0n:
5 minutes of research later:

4. Who can apply for the G.I.R.L. Scholarship?
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2014 spring term.

source: https://www.soe.com/girl/faq.vm

the arguing can stop now...regardless of the rather odd choice for an acronym, this scholarship is NOT limited to female applicants

Actually it is. This lack of a qualifier on there page has been questioned before. Men are exempt from entering, even though it doesn't say so on there web page, it does say so on the physical hard copy paper work. It turns out that legally what they are doing is indeed sexism & they had to remove the clause from the web version... However they are still not accepting entries from male participants.

Scholarship America has already confirmed this, apparently.

meh, if you say so, have only been able to find one or two sites that specified it, admittedly i only did a superficial search since it doesn't apply to my field of study anyway

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