Sony Online Entertainment announced Tuesday that Alicia Crawford of La Quinta, California has been named the winner of the 2011 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. Now in its fourth year, the scholarship aims to inspire more women to get involved in all aspects of video game development and encourage students to pursue careers in the creative and applied arts.
Alicia, a game art and design student at the Inland Empire’s Art Institute of California, was awarded the $10,000 scholarship to use toward her tuition and other educational expenses. She has also accepted a 10-week paid internship at SOE’s headquarters in San Diego where she will work on one of the company’s many hit titles.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized for my work by a major video game publisher and I’m extremely thankful to SOE for this opportunity,” said Crawford. “Winning the G.I.R.L. scholarship fuels my desire to work in the gaming industry and my existing passion for video games.”
As part of the competition, finalists were asked to submit two pieces of original concept art inspired by either Free Realms® or EverQuest®II, and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry to a panel of judges.
“Supporting the education and careers of young artists drives our ever-evolving industry forward by adding fresh perspectives and new innovative ideas that help shape the future of games as we know them,” said Laura Naviaux, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at SOE. “Once again, we’ve selected an individual we are extremely proud to have represent our G.I.R.L. scholarship program and hope that talented young women, such as Alicia, continue to embrace and pursue the creative opportunities available in the gaming industry.”