VFS Awards Its First-Ever Women in Games Scholarship

By Paul Hunter

Most days I'm so busy attending gaming events and writing articles that sometimes some Canadian gaming news can slip right through my fingers. Take for example the announcement last month from the Vancouver Film School (VFS) that they have awarded their first-ever Women in Games Scholarship.

The scholarship covers the full tuition to the one-year Game Design program at VFS and is valued at $30,000.

The scholarship was launched in early February at Game Design Expo 2009 as a means to support and foster talented female game designers in an industry traditionally dominated by male gamers and designers. A 2009 report conducted by the VFS found that women now make up 20 percent of the workforce, up 17 percent from 2004

The winner of the full tuition award is Shannon Lee from Vancouver, BC. Shannon will have the opportunity to experience one intensive year learning every facet of game design, from game theory to level design to game interface design.

“It is an honour to have been chosen, and I am so thankful for this chance to fulfill a long-held dream of mine,” says Shannon. “I cannot wait to start the Game Design program at VFS and to take advantage of the opportunities that the Women in Games scholarship has afforded.”

In addition to the Women in Games Scholarship, VFS also awarded six other scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $7,000, thanks to the contribution by a number of Game Design Expo 2009 sponsors. Five of the six recipients of these scholarships are women.

Congratulations to the following scholarship winners:

Katharine Craig, Vancouver, Canada. – $7,000 G4techTV scholarship
Jessica MacGaul, Surrey, Canada – $5,000 EA scholarship
Denver Thomas, Parsippany, U.S. – $2,800 Big Fish Games scholarship
Thi Bao Vo, Hanoi, Vietnam – $2,500 Annex Pro scholarship
Sara Moore, Ottawa, Canada – $2,500 Obsidian Entertainment scholarship
Bunthita Nijathaworn, Bangkok, Thailand – $2,500 Crystal Dynamics scholarship