Vancouver Film School  (VFS) is pleased to announce the winners of the sixth annual Women in Games Scholarships: Elizabeth Wright of Alberta, Canada, Andreia Gonçalves of Portugal, Meabh McCarthy of Ireland, and Macarena Poo Garcia of Mexico. This year, as an exciting twist in addition to a full-tuition scholarship to the Game Design program , VFS is also offering full-tuition scholarship opportunities to its brand-new Programming for Games, Web & Mobile program.
“It always amazes me when I see the quality of applicants for the Women in Games Scholarship,” says Dave Warfield, Head of Game Design and Programming for Games, Web & Mobile at VFS. “It is always hard to choose, but this year’s winners stood above the rest by showing a great mix of creativity, attention to detail, and technical skill that will make them very successful students.”
The first initiative of its kind in the world, these scholarships will cover the full tuition for aspiring female game industry professionals in VFS’s acclaimed Game Design or Programming for Games, Web & Mobile programs. Gender inequality has been an evolving issue in the game industry for several years now, and although much progress has been made, it remains a popular topic on forums and social media. According to a recent study, 45% of gamers are female – but an article written in The Boston Globe last year stated that women only account for 11% of the game designers working in the industry and 3% of programmers. The Women in Games Scholarships are designed to help address this gender imbalance and ultimately empower more talented female industry professionals.
“I was both surprised and excited when I received the call,” says Meabh McCarthy. “This scholarship enables me to learn so much and change my career path, which is such a privilege. I really am so grateful and honoured to have been selected.”
Along with four winners from 2013 who will graduate from VFS this June, previous winners include:
- Shannon Lee of Canada, who now works at Microsoft
- Annie Dickerson from the United States, currently at Allen Interactions
- Lala Fuchs from Brazil, who won a Unity Award for Best Student Game and is currently with DeNa Studios
- Kristina Soltvedt Wiik from Norway, now at United Front Games
For more information on Vancouver Film School’s one-year Game Design program and Programming for Games, Web & Mobile – the only one-year programs included in the Princeton Review’s 2013 list of Top Game Design Programs – visit the school’s web site .