An Australian college has announced its plans to offer up to $500,000 worth of scholarships to film and game creators. Half of the scholarships will be reserved for women and underrepresented groups.
The scholarships look to foster the best creative talent as well as to help to improve the game and film industries’ lack of diversity.
Australian College Announces $500,000 Game Scholarship
The scholarship, which is for 2016-2017 applicants, is offered by Melbourne-based CG Spectrum College. It covers six “accredited online diplomas,” including animation, visual effects, programming, concept art, 3D modelling and compositing.
The best students, explains CG Spectrum, will have the opportunity to take part in paid internships. Indie developer League of Geeks (which created tabletop strategy RPG game Armello) is on board, though the college adds that “talks are underway with local vfx studios to do the same.”
Half of the scholarships will be reserved for women and underrepresented populations, with CG Spectrum College “actively seeking related communities and organisations to partner with them on seeking candidates.”
Though, the college doesn’t see this as “token diversity.” Co-founder and Head of School Jeff Pepper explains that “we want to see those places filled, and we’re willing to tweak the programme to suit the needs of the communities who want to apply,” also noting that being online means there’s a “huge opportunity” for those in rural communities who can’t move to big cities.
Although it’s unclear exactly which underrepresented groups CG Spectrum College refers to, undoubtedly, the games industry could do with becoming more diverse. According to an International Game Developers Association (IGDA) survey from 2014, the industry is just 22% female. While IGDA’s statistics on the industry’s ethnic diversity haven’t been updated since 2005, in the UK, at least, those who are BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) make up just 4% of the industry.
The decrease in the hyper-sexualisation of female characters, for example, has been attributed to the increased number of female talent in the industry over the years. The representation of ethnic minorities has also been heavily criticised over the years, as many games fail to avoid harmful stereotypes, and so undoubtedly hiring more BAME talent would improve this.
CG Spectrum College will be taking scholarship applications until December 14 and a second round will be opened mid-2017. Go here to apply.
Source: CG Spectrum College