SONY Online Entertainment has asked the games industry at large to contribute to the Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L) scholarship program, aimed at bringing more women into the industry. Speaking at the International Game Developers Association conference in San Francisco, Torrie Dorrell - SOE's Global Sales & Marketing called on other companies to throw $10,000 a piece into the G.I.R.L. hat and do their bit for the cause. “Today, I am challenging everyone to take action to help level the playing field for women pursuing a career in video games. By donating to the G.I.R.L. scholarship, we can encourage diversity in development and make a difference, hopefully creating more opportunities for women and ultimately making more video games women will want to play,” said Dorrell. Full press release after the jump...SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ISSUES INDUSTRY-WIDE CALL TO ACTION TO EXPAND G.I.R.L. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2008 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in online gaming, invited all companies doing business in the video game industry to join SOE’s efforts to educate and recruit more women into the field of video game creation, design and production. In a lunchtime keynote speech during the International Game Developers Association conference in San Francisco, Torrie Dorrell, senior vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for SOE, challenged companies in the video game industry to each make a $10,000 donation toward the G.I.R.L. – Gamers In Real Life – scholarship, with the goal of creating multiple scholarships and more opportunities for women. “Today, I am challenging everyone to take action to help level the playing field for women pursuing a career in video games. By donating to the G.I.R.L. scholarship, we can encourage diversity in development and make a difference, hopefully creating more opportunities for women and ultimately making more video games women will want to play,” said Dorrell. First awarded in 2008, the G.I.R.L. scholarship was created by SOE and encourages female students toward career paths in the creative and applied arts, with the ultimate goal of developing video games that are more interesting for women to play. In 2009, the program will be managed by Scholarship America®, a leading non-profit educational support program. SOE will offer students of undergraduate programs related to video games a chance to compete for the scholarship by submitting original artwork and essays to a panel of judges. “SOE’s vision is commendable, and we fully endorse the G.I.R.L. scholarship program and look forward to the results of this initiative,” said Joseph Olin, president of The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “Expanding the presence of women in video games reflects SOE’s foresight and acknowledges its contributions to the future of our dynamic entertainment medium.” For more information about the G.I.R.L. scholarship program, please visit, www.girl.soe.com. About Sony Online Entertainment Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™ and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. About Scholarship America® Scholarship America is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organizations. Its three primary programs — Dollars for Scholars®, Scholarship Management Services® and ScholarShop® — are united in the mission to expand access to education. Scholarship America (www.scholarshipamerica.org) has awarded more than $2 billion to nearly 2 million students since its founding in 1958, and is rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator. About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences: The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. In 2002 the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy also oversees Into The Pixel, a juried exhibition of art from games, and this year started the Randy Pausch Scholarship fund for students in the games industry. The Academy has more than 15,000 members from the games industry.