2012 is the fifth year that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has helped some lucky person out there break into the gaming industry and get a little help with that ever-increasingly expensive tuition. Today SOE announced that Quinne Larsen of Northridge, California has been named as the lucky recipient of the 2012 G.I.R.L. (Gamers in Real Life) Scholarship. As part of the award, Larsen will receive a $10,000 scholarship and a paid 10-week internship at SOE headquarters in San Diego.

We would like to offer our congratulations to Quinne Larsen and wish her the best in her pursuit for a future in the gaming industry.


Fifth Annual Game Art Design Competition Supports Educational Advancement and Offers Opportunity to Gain Video Game Industry Experience

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - May 29, 2012 - Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that Quinne Larsen of Northridge, Calif. has been named the winner of the 2012 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. Now in its fifth year, the scholarship program was established to encourage women to pursue careers in video game development and design.

Larsen, a character animation major at the California Institute of the Arts, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship to use toward her college 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.

"I was over the moon when I learned that I won the G.I.R.L. Scholarship," said Larsen. "I can't thank SOE enough for this opportunity and I look forward to furthering my passion and knowledge for video games.

As part of the competition, finalists were asked to submit two pieces of original concept art inspired by either PlanetSide®2  or EverQuest®II, and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry to a panel of judges that included respected video game journalist and industry expert Leigh Alexander, and game art and development executives from Sony Online Entertainment.

"Our annual G.I.R.L. program helps to pave the way for more women to excel in the video game industry," said Laura Naviaux, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "We were impressed with the creativity and passion shown in not only Quinne's entry, but all the finalist entries. Every year we are thrilled to award these scholarships to young, talented students, so that they may continue to have opportunities to shape and bring diversity to our industry."

"We commend the dedication and achievement of students like Quinne," adds Joe Shoopack, director of artist development, Sony Online Entertainment. "She represents the next generation of video game artists and we are proud to have her as this year's G.I.R.L. Scholarship recipient."

For the 2012 internship and scholarship, Sony Online Entertainment received hundreds of applications from students at different universities across the country. Since its inception in 2008, the program has seen an exponential growth in the number of entries each year. The G.I.R.L. submission phase closed on March 29, 2012. Scholarship America®, SOE's scholarship administrator, narrowed down the submissions to a pool of semi-finalists based on certain eligibility criteria.

For more information about G.I.R.L., please visit www.girl.soe.com. To follow G.I.R.L. on Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/SOE_GIRL or to join G.I.R.L. on Facebook, go to http://tinyurl.com/SOE-GIRL.

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games. Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®, Clone Wars Adventures™, and DC Universe Online™, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms. SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages. To learn more, visit www.soe.com.

SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest, Champions of Norrath, PlanetSide and Free Realms are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

About Scholarship America®

Scholarship America® is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.5 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.7 million students over the last 50 years. Scholarship America's programs, which include Dollars for Scholars®, help fund both entry-level and multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants. More information is available at www.scholarshipamerica.org.

About Leigh Alexander

Leigh Alexander is an editor-at-large at Gamasutra, contributor to Edge, Kotaku, NYLON Guys and Boing Boing; and has appeared in Slate, Wired, OXM, Variety, The Los Angeles Times, and more. Additionally, she was the keynote speaker at the 2011TIFF Nexus' Women in Film, Games & New Media Conference.


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