The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESA Foundation) has announced an expansion to its scholarship program to include women and minority esports competitors in college. The aim of this is to increase the esports involvement of such groups. This will be done by providing them a pathway into a variety of aspects in the gaming industry.
“The ESA Foundation is devoted to empowering the next generation of video game creators and fostering an industry in which those creators reflect the players they’re making games for,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation, in the announcement. “We’re excited to expand our scholarship offering this year to include underrepresented students passionate about esports, which has quickly become one of the most popular forms of entertainment.”
According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, over $16 million in esports scholarships have been provided since 2016, assisting over 5000 students in over 170 schools. However, the ESA Foundation says that little of this has gone towards helping women and minorities. They hope to change that with this new scholarship.
This move shows the ESA Foundation’s recognition of the recent growth in esports and the need to make that scene more diverse. Additionally, it suggests that the organization believes women and minority gamers will play a fundamental role in the creation of games and esports in the future.
Scholarship applications open
Alongside this new esports scholarship, the ESA Foundation also regularly awards a “Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship” and works with Gay Gaming Professionals to provide an LGBTQ+ gaming support scholarship. Applications for all three of these are now open. If you’re interested in any of them, you have until Mar. 2 to submit your applications. Make sure to check out the ESA Foundation’s scholarship website to learn all of the details.
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