Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced the winner of the 2014 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. In its seventh year, the scholarship program encourages women to pursue careers in the video game industry in areas of development and design. This year's recipient is Erin Loelius of Manasquan, N.J.
Described by SOE as "a student at California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, Calif.) and an avid gamer who has always found video game art to be a source for inspiration," Loelius has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship to use for her college tuition and other educational expenses. In addition to the cash award, she will spend 10 weeks on a paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego this summer. During her internship, she will get to work on two of SOE's upcoming games, Landmark and EverQuest Next – working alongside Rosie Rappaport, current senior art director for both titles and original art director for the classic EverQuest.
"I grew up playing games, so inspiration from video games has always found a way into my art, and that's what makes this internship opportunity so amazing and fitting," said 2014 G.I.R.L. winner Erin Loelius. "Someday I hope to collaborate on games with the same quirkiness and whimsy of games I grew up on. I'd love to create something that pushes people's imaginations and makes them remember their gaming childhood."
"SOE has prided itself on being a major catalyst of women's involvement in our industry," said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "As our company continues to evolve and diversify our portfolio, we've found it imperative to refine our approach with game art and development, seeking out varied perspectives from the current and future leading voices in the industry. The market for compelling and original online game experiences is rapidly evolving and as a publisher it is our responsibility to listen and celebrate the spectrum of play styles among our global community, and deliver innovation in art, design and technology."
For more information about G.I.R.L., visit www.girl.soe.com.