Esther Wu of Brooklyn, New York has been named the winner of the 2013 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship, Sony Online Entertainment announced today. 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 is a student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. She 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 wants to pursue a career 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 PlanetSide2 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.
You can learn more about the scholarship by visiting www.girl.soe.com.