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

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You know, it's sad when you almost expect Sony to do shit like this. It's like they've built their entire portfolio on being the most obnoxious twats in the yard.

Damn... I need to stop watching ZP. Yahtzee's coloring my own metaphors now.

savageoblivi0n:

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

There's actually nothing illegal in it at all. It would be legally questionable if it was public money, but since it's the company's money they can do what they like with it. Colleges, for example, continue to have race- and gender-specific grants and scholarships. There are all sorts of different criteria for different sholarships, as this discussion points out:

For example, on one collegiate Web site called FinAid or F-I-N-A-I-D.com, I found $1,000 scholarships for students who happen to be left-handed. There are scholarships for twins and scholarships for triplets. There's a $500 scholarship for students who happen to be obese, and there's a scholarship for little people who must be 4'10" or less, and a scholarship for tall people. Female applicants must be at least 5'10" and males 6'2". There's even a scholarship for just average people.

The purpose of such grants and scholarships is to encourage those demographics who either face difficulties getting into the college/industry of their choice, or who are currently under-represented. In this case, the scholarship is designed to encourage women (who are woefully rare in the gaming industry) to take an interest in working for Sony with the potential to possibly be taken on later as full employees. A program designed to redress the imbalance of male-female employees would be a little redundant if both male and female applicants were taken on for sponsorship.

Considering the ever-increasing number of women and girls getting into gaming and the demand for better/more equal representation, it's pretty business-savvy of Sony to make efforts towards diversifying their workforce.

Sidestepping all of the gender issues:

Am I the only one that finds it suspicious that Sony is essentially farming for ideas in the guise of furthering education? Think about it: concept art and ideas on changing gender portrayal in games while extending that into getting more females to buy games. Those are probably the same things their marketing and development groups have probably been working on for years. Since I'm not a student anymore, I'm not going to spend any time reading over the rules governing applications, but I'd strongly advise anyone considering it to make sure that Sony can't steal their ideas. After all, this is the same company that makes you agree that you won't join a class-action lawsuit against them just to use the online service.

...Sorry, I'll take my tinfoil hat off now.

boots:
The purpose of such grants and scholarships is to encourage those demographics who either face difficulties getting into the college/industry of their choice, or who are currently under-represented. In this case, the scholarship is designed to encourage women (who are woefully rare in the gaming industry) to take an interest in working for Sony with the potential to possibly be taken on later as full employees. A program designed to redress the imbalance of male-female employees would be a little redundant if both male and female applicants were taken on for sponsorship.

Yeah how dare we give men equal oppurtunities to women, after all the industry already has men in it & as we all know a man is the same as all men. So all men can please fuck off, because women are so equal to men, that they need a helping hand up, literally taking resources away from equally talented men on the basis of gender.

Oh wait, shit, i just realised thats the definition of sexism.

Seriously dude, does anyone for a second think it'd be okay if the genders were reversed?

boots:
Considering the ever-increasing number of women and girls getting into gaming and the demand for better/more equal representation, it's pretty business-savvy of Sony to make efforts towards diversifying their workforce.

LOL, no. I'm sorry, because we hear this line a lot but its just not true... i wish it were true, but we know its not. First off i'm assuming you are talking about the stat that declares 50% of gamers are now women. I have to inform you that this stat is objectively wrong: When you include people who only play farmville & angry birds in the same subset of gamers as people who play dragon age, COD, Final Fantasy & real games, you've pretty much missed the point; which is exactly what the copany in question did.

In fact, do you know what company gathered these stats? AC Nielson? OzTAM? Roy Morgan Research? Forrester Research? Illuminas? or maybe IBISWorld?

Nope: The company that performed that survey was Doritos. A company that makes corn chips.

The fact is that while women do in fact game, they still make up the extreme minority of the demographic who play real honest to god computer & video games... you know the ones people buy for exorbinate amounts of money & play for way to many hours, on real gaming devices.

An the fact remains that theres actually no real problem with representation of women in games: yes there could be more female characters, but as has been pointed out in the past absense does not denote exclusion. Same goes for the work force: The gaming industry does not require more women, in fact the gaming industry actually requires no women... In fact it requires no men either, since gender has nothing to do with putting out a good product.

matthew_lane:

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

Oh mate, when you get caught out saying something stupid, the intelligent response is to check to see why you were saying something stupid... you don't double down on the stupidity & hope that if you say enough stupid things, the stupid things you've said will eventually come full circle & stop being stupid.

If one ever wants to know what actual unapologetic bigotry looks likes Hagi, you've given us a perfect showcase.

Yay! Because insulting people is a sure way to show your intellectual superiority and amazing wisdom and understanding!

Then again, I guess I got in the way of your righteous indignation on the subject. Heady feeling isn't it? Makes you just want to bunker down and stick to your viewpoint regardless of any rational thought or reality. Sorry for trying to spoil it for you man.

Hagi:
Yay! Because insulting people is a sure way to show your intellectual superiority and amazing wisdom and understanding!

It would have been an insult if i called you stupid, but what i did was point out that what you said was stupid. Don't want people to point out that you are saying is stupid, then my suggestion would be to stop saying stupid things.

Hagi:
Makes you just want to bunker down and stick to your viewpoint regardless of any rational thought or reality.

LOL no. The fact is that it is objectively sexism & discrimination. It is LITERALLY the dictionary definition of both concepts.

Eh, I've seen other companies do this when for some (legal? PR?) reason the company needed to hire more female, ethnic, & disabled employees & would pay for their training. I see no sexism here.

Captcha = Chuck Norris?

matthew_lane:

Hagi:
Yay! Because insulting people is a sure way to show your intellectual superiority and amazing wisdom and understanding!

It would have been an insult if i called you stupid, but what i did was point out that what you said was stupid. Don't want people to point out that you are saying is stupid, then my suggestion would be to stop saying stupid things.

Hagi:
Makes you just want to bunker down and stick to your viewpoint regardless of any rational thought or reality.

LOL no. The fact is that it is objectively sexism & discrimination. It is LITERALLY the dictionary definition of both concepts.

And you know how far being completely and totally literal will get you in actual communication?

A dictionary isn't intended to completely and totally define a word. It's intended to point you in the right direction if you don't know what a word means.

A dictionary can't completely and totally define a word because language is complicated. Way more complicated than can be defined in a single book, especially if you get to abstract concepts like sexism.

There's hundreds of thousands of pages of research into sexism, what exactly it is, what it means, what causes it, why we do it etc. And you honestly believe your paltry dictionary can completely define it in a few sentences?

The world's a bit more complicated than can be put into a dictionary...

Hagi:
A dictionary isn't intended to completely and totally define a word. It's intended to point you in the right direction if you don't know what a word means.

Sure, except for your statement to be accurate not only would the dictionary have to not define the word, it would have to have defined the word as the exact opposite of the concept you are trying to put forward. You know, like Blue now means red, stop means go, you continuing to say stupid things suddenly become super intelligent commentary.

The fact is mate that it is literally the definition of every source that G.I.R.L is both sexist & discriminatory. Thats the very reason they removed the "female only" clause from the digital version (even though it still exists on the hard copy).

At the end of the day you have no leg to stand on. The best you can hope for is too continue this words don't mean what words mean semantic contortionism in the hope that you'll get the last word & people mistake loud mouthed verbosity for validity.

matthew_lane:

1. Criticise other people for being sexist
2. Insist that girls don't play video games and when they do they don't play *real* video games, they only play girly non-games like Farmville.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Sure thing, dude. Tell you what, you should deffo go and communicate your amazing insight to Sony. Just let them know that you know their marketing demographic waaay better than they do. They'll be really impressed, I promise.

To desperately insist that women only represent an "extreme minority" of gamers is - quite frankly - a little sad. It's also not a very convincing argument to make to a woman who has invested hundreds of pounds into gaming - mainly FPS, RPG and stealth games - but has never played a minute of Farmville nor desired to do so. Besides which, according to the ESA (who, the last time I checked, weren't sponsored by Doritos), 47% of gamers are now female. Even way back in 2004, 25% of console gamers were female, and as far as I'm aware you don't get Angry Birds or Farmville on the Xbox or PS3.

I hate to break it to you, matt, but women aren't just moving into your hobbyspace. We're already here, we've been here for a while, and as the VD (vagina dollar) continues to become more influential within the gaming industry, more developers will start making an effort to appeal to a female audience as well as a male one. I suggest that you get over whatever problem you have with women or - if it really bothers you that much - find a new hobby where we won't be encroaching on your space so much. Maybe logging or something. Fly fishing? I'll leave it up to you.

Look at it this way. Sony is investing hefty sums of money and paid internships exclusive to females in order to diversify their creative team, improve the representation of women in their games and find new ideas for marketing games towards women. Now, why would a multi-billion dollar corporation want to do this?

Option A: Altruism
Option B: To increase profits

Hmmm. Tricky one. I guess you'll just have to go ahead and put in that call to Sony's marketing department to find out their motives. Don't worry, as soon as you put forward your brilliant "girls don't play video games I know the numbers say they do but they don't so there!" argument you are sure to be brought on as permanent staff in no time.

matthew_lane:

Hagi:
A dictionary isn't intended to completely and totally define a word. It's intended to point you in the right direction if you don't know what a word means.

Sure, except for your statement to be accurate not only would the dictionary have to not define the word, it would have to have defined the word as the exact opposite of the concept you are trying to put forward. You know, like Blue now means red, stop means go, you continuing to say stupid things suddenly become super intelligent commentary.

The fact is mate that it is literally the definition of every source that G.I.R.L is both sexist & discriminatory. Thats the very reason they removed the "female only" clause from the digital version (even though it still exists on the hard copy).

At the end of the day you have no leg to stand on. The best you can hope for is too continue this words don't mean what words mean semantic contortionism in the hope that you'll get the last word & people mistake loud mouthed verbosity for validity.

Wait what?

In order for a dictionary to become a guide to what words mean it'd have to define words as the opposite? How does that even make sense?

A dictionary is a guide, an aid, something to help people figure out what words mean. That's all.

It's not the ultimate law on the precise and exact meaning of everything. You using it as such only shows your own lack of understanding.

Words change meaning on the basis of context. They have nuances that dictionaries, thanks to their limited and summarized format, are incapable of describing. The larger context in this situation, the simple fact that women face peer pressure and societal expectation in game-related careers that men don't, means you can't simply literally apply dictionary definitions. The real world doesn't work like that. It's more complicated, more nuanced.

A dictionary is intended to help you out if you don't know or are unsure about what a word means. It gives you a solid basis to work from. It's not intended as the ultimate and complete authority on all linguistics everywhere. Stop attempting to use it as such, it's silly.

boots:
Look at it this way. Sony is investing hefty sums of money and paid internships exclusive to females in order to diversify their creative team, improve the representation of women in their games and find new ideas for marketing games towards women. Now, why would a multi-billion dollar corporation want to do this?

Option A: Altruism
Option B: To increase profits

I don't think it's that simple. There can be more reasons than just those two.

For one, to draw attention from the media and feminist gaming circles. There are some who believe that women in Japan are literally shunned from entering the gaming industry, Sony is a big player in Japan so I'll let you do the math. If this work out well this could help improve their image.

It could also be used as an attempt to make feminists (and certain politically-correct groups) finally shut up by later saying "look we did this female-only thing and it barely worked out. We did what we could, now fuck off."

In fact now that I think about it, this whole thing isn't even calling for a potentially good GAME DEVELOPER to emerge from the prettier sex.

Look at this: "...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?""

Hold on a second, what about the question "how can you improve GAMES in general and help create games that more PEOPLE will want to play?"
This is extremely specific - they want women to answer what can be done to improve the image of women in games, as well as creating games that more women will want to play.

There's nothing about being a good game developer in there, it appears they only want women driven by feminist motives and happen to be interested in gaming. Think about it, the SOLE REASON they are calling these women into game development is to specifically help create+market games towards other women.

What does one make of this?

@AaronSylvester

Did you miss the part where they were looking for someone with a minimum 3.00 G.P.A. in a gaming-related degree course? Also the part where they are looking for two pieces of concept art for a video game as the main element of the competition. You, errr, accidentally omitted both of those pieces of information when you summed up the competition and instead decided to focus entirely on the accompanying essay.

Step 1: Notice there are more men working in the games industry than women.
Step 2: Decide that in order to entice more girls to join the games industry, you'll offer a course that's specifically targeted to females.
Step 3: SEXISM!

Really, what? From what I can tell, this is designed for girls who might not otherwise have considered a career in the games industry. This isn't for the girls who were already planning to become game designers, environment artists etc.

So, here we have a gaming culture in which women are often looked down upon and a company giving victims of this bigotry a chance to try and change this negative trend that has been flowing through out gaming culture.

And yet, somehow this is a bad thing? Aren't the guys here just jealous that they can't apply for this?

This is like white plantation owners being called racist for asking their black slaves for ways to make their work on the cotton fields more doable and humane.

boots:
There's actually nothing illegal in it at all. It would be legally questionable if it was public money, but since it's the company's money they can do what they like with it. Colleges, for example, continue to have race- and gender-specific grants and scholarships. There are all sorts of different criteria for different sholarships, as this discussion points out:

The purpose of such grants and scholarships is to encourage those demographics who either face difficulties getting into the college/industry of their choice, or who are currently under-represented. In this case, the scholarship is designed to encourage women (who are woefully rare in the gaming industry) to take an interest in working for Sony with the potential to possibly be taken on later as full employees. A program designed to redress the imbalance of male-female employees would be a little redundant if both male and female applicants were taken on for sponsorship.

Considering the ever-increasing number of women and girls getting into gaming and the demand for better/more equal representation, it's pretty business-savvy of Sony to make efforts towards diversifying their workforce.

Thank you, you pointed out what I was going to. With everyone screaming discrimination, I guess they never went to college or never applied for scholarships. Otherwise, they'd know many scholarships disqualify students based on features such as skin/hair/eye color or plenty of other silly things.

When it was time for me to go to school, the only scholarship I qualified for was from the Ku Klux Klan. I lived in Southern California, and most scholarships are for non-white minorities who don't live in a certain tax bracket (for lack of a better word). So when I applied the only ones I could gofor were the highest achievers and being white... needles to say I didn't take the money because I really don't want my name linked to a hate group.

There's also another great function in the USA called Affirmative Action. For people who don't know about this, think of it as companies/business/corporations/etc will take a persons race/gender/religion/etc into consideration when looking to hire applicants. Some cases have the best qualified candidate overlooked because they don't fall into a certain criteria of minority.

I doubt anyone will read this post though.

Kheapathic:

When it was time for me to go to school, the only scholarship I qualified for was from the Ku Klux Klan. I lived in Southern California, and most scholarships are for non-white minorities who don't live in a certain tax bracket (for lack of a better word). So when I applied the only ones I could gofor were the highest achievers and being white... needles to say I didn't take the money because I really don't want my name linked to a hate group.

As I mentioned already, scholarships are generally designed to redress significant imbalances within college demographics. There are very few white-exclusive scholarships because white people are already statistically far more likely to go to college and earn a degree. Just to take an example from that one report, 36% of white 25-29 year-olds currently hold a BA or higher degree, compared to only 18% of African-American young people and 12% of hispanic young people. When white kids are already twice as likely to go to college as African-American kids, and three times more likely than hispanic kids, it wouldn't really make sense to tip the scales any further in the favour of white people.

With regards to the "tax bracket" thing - income-based scholarships are common and exist in order to offer higher education to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Shortly before my third year of university my dad was made redundant and my mother was only working part-time, so the household income dropped below a certain level. I was given separate grants from both the university and the government in order to get me through my final year. Last time I checked, I don't belong to any kind of ethnic minority. But we don't say that income-based scholarships are "unfairly discriminatory against rich people".

And as you mentioned above, a lot of scholarships are merit-based and require a minimum GPA. But we don't say that these scholarships are unfairly discriminatory against stupid people or people of average intelligence.

There's also another great function in the USA called Affirmative Action. For people who don't know about this, think of it as companies/business/corporations/etc will take a persons race/gender/religion/etc into consideration when looking to hire applicants. Some cases have the best qualified candidate overlooked because they don't fall into a certain criteria of minority.

Look at it this way. Each one of the Assassin's Creed games opens with the following disclaimer:

"Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs."

For many companies - Ubisoft being just one example - diversity is an extremely desirable quality to have among its their body of employees, particularly their creative and marketing teams. In the case of AC, Ubisoft felt that multiculturalism and religious diversity amongst the creative team was necessary in order to create the best possible games and eliminate any kind of accidental bias. For the most recent game they hired a Native American consultant and a Native American voice actor for the lead role, since the game was largely about Native American culture and telling the story of the American Revolution from the perspective of a Mohawk tribesman.

It makes sense for companies to hire a mix of different people from different backgrounds. You wouldn't hire a marketing team consisting entirely of men to figure out the best way to advertise make-up products or perfume to women, so if you're trying to market a product like a video game to both male and female consumers then it makes sense to have both men and women on your creative and marketing teams, just as it makes sense to have ethnic diversity amongst those teams when your target demographic includes a significant number of ethnic minorities. Like it or not, belonging to a currently under-represented gender or ethnicity can be considered a "merit" for many companies when looking at equally or similarly qualified candidates. And that's before we even start to get into the political/moral reasons behind affirmative action.

bluegate:
So, here we have a gaming culture in which women are often looked down upon and a company giving victims of this bigotry a chance to try and change this negative trend that has been flowing through out gaming culture.

What bigotry? The industry has beant over backwards for the last 20 years to get women into the industry & very few wanted to put in the effort to gain the skills to join the companies. As has been pointed out before & no doubt will again: Absense does not denote exclusion.

flying_whimsy:
Sidestepping all of the gender issues:

Am I the only one that finds it suspicious that Sony is essentially farming for ideas in the guise of furthering education? Think about it: concept art and ideas on changing gender portrayal in games while extending that into getting more females to buy games. Those are probably the same things their marketing and development groups have probably been working on for years. Since I'm not a student anymore, I'm not going to spend any time reading over the rules governing applications, but I'd strongly advise anyone considering it to make sure that Sony can't steal their ideas. After all, this is the same company that makes you agree that you won't join a class-action lawsuit against them just to use the online service.

...Sorry, I'll take my tinfoil hat off now.

As far as I'm concerned, all of that is positive. If Sony is reaching out for fresh points of views and new ideas then that can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole. The games industry has severely stagnated over the last decade, very rarely producing anything new and interesting.

Gorged budgets and a concentrated target audience makes it extremely risky to try anything new these days and I think we should be happy to see someone, especially one of the big dogs, still trying to find something new. About Sony "stealing" ideas, that's pretty unlikely. I see it more likely that if someone presents them with an idea worth their time, they'll simply back it and quite possibly launch some girl's career off the ground.

And really, why wouldn't Sony want more girls to purchase their games? And why wouldn't you want more girls to be purchasing games? This is a hobby I assume you love since you're posting here, it's about damn time we learned to share it. The more girls enjoying and talking about AAA games is more girls not talking about FarmVille and Angry Birds all day.

I have nothing against those two games, people can play what they want. It'd just be nice to hear a girl talk about other games in real life for once.

VanQQisH:
And really, why wouldn't Sony want more girls to purchase their games? And why wouldn't you want more girls to be purchasing games? This is a hobby I assume you love since you're posting here, it's about damn time we learned to share it. The more girls enjoying and talking about AAA games is more girls not talking about FarmVille and Angry Birds all day.

I never said nor did I imply that: I'm a bit insulted you'd generate such a low opinion of me because I have suspicions about a company's motives behind an effort to advance women both in the industry and the player base.

I wish the whole 'women in gaming' thing wasn't an issue: I wish there were more female gamers and game makers. I love video games as an art and I'm frequently embarrassed by how backwards the culture surrounding it can sometimes be.

My point was that Sony has a terrible record in regards to consumer rights, and, given that, anyone considering applying should take that into consideration lest they find their ideas later used without credit or compensation. It's a great opportunity, but there's also some risk involved in the way of intellectual dishonesty on Sony's part.

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