Scholarships for Playing Video Games 13 Jun 12

Gaming is No Longer an Idle Pastime

Who said video games were a waste of time? TwitchTV, Alienware, and SteelSeries have joined together to award five dedicated gamers each with a $10,000 dollar college scholarship. The criteria for entry are a 3.0 GPA and a proven skill or leadership in the player’s game of choice.

Why They Started the Scholarship?

As TwitchTV’s CEO, Emmit Shear, explained, “The scholarship concept was inspired by our desire to give something back to the community that has helped us grow to more than 17 million unique visitors a month, less than one year from our launch in June 2011.”*

Of course, the scholarship isn’t just for thanks, but these companies also want to help grow and evolve the gaming industry. Shear further explained that TwitchTV has seen a huge increase in the number of pro tournaments, sponsor interest, and players who are able to support themselves through gaming. TwitchTV’s goal is to allow players to “take their passion and make it a profession” by focusing on games and education.

How it Works?

The winners of the scholarships are selected by a committee of industry experts who will review all applications and make their selections based on a variety of elements, including GPA, gaming prowess (in game-ranking, tournament history, prizes won, etc.), an essay about what gaming means to them, and a video explaining why they deserve the funding.

The providers of the scholarship also made it clear that skill in any game was acceptable. So, participants can choose something as innocuous as Mario Kart or notorious as Call of Duty — they only have to prove their expertise.

TwitchTV is accepting applications for the 2012 scholarship between June 5, 2012 and July 15, 2012, and the winner will be announced on August 15, 2012 at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle.

Opinions?

With the popularity of online gaming, the push for team strategies, and in-game advertising, it’s obvious the world of videos games is evolving rapidly. It’s no longer isolated entertainment, and with the new developments, there are also new career opportunities. Still, there are those who think encouraging students to devote so much time to video games is a bad idea.

What’s your opinion? Will this persuade game addicts to devote additional time to education, or do you think it just provides another excuse for more gaming?