In March of 2010 Forbes online stated that ”the new face of videogaming is almost as likely to be a 30-something woman as a teenage boy”, and that “women are increasingly eager to ride the game wave.” This movement is exactly why the folks at Sony Online Entertainment are so dedicated to inspiring women’s involvement in the video game industry, as well as for providing an open gateway for those pursuing careers in the field of creative and applied arts.
Since 2008 SOE has been sponsor to The G.I.R.L—Gamers in Real Life—Scholarship. The purpose of G.I.R.L is to positively impact the way females are depicted in video games and create and influence content to be appealing to women. Another purpose is to help raise awareness of the serious female gaming audience to the media in an effort to encourage the gaming industry to positively promote women throughout all facets of games, game production and into game management. And 2012 marks the 5th pairing of G.I.R.L. and SOE to bring the scholarship to a very fortunate student. The recipient will be awarded a unique opportunity to get a foot in the door with an optional internship at SOE, plus $10,000 towards tuition and other educational expenses at the school at which the student is currently enrolled.
“The goal of G.I.R.L. has always been of opportunity, education and recruitment to get more women into the gaming industry,” said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. “Over the last few years, we have been nothing short of impressed with the hundreds of amazing submissions from talented students nationwide. Now in our fifth year, we can’t wait to see the creativity that comes out of the G.I.R.L. program.”
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2012 spring term. The SOE internship is an optional ten (10)-week position at one of SOE’s studios (room, board, transportation and living expenses not included). The internship will provide invaluable real-work experience & will offer the student an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, as well as make tremendous networks for a future in gaming.
Looking for a little special something to give your sweetheart for Christmas? Thinking that he or she might really enjoy the comforts of the new Sony portable gaming device, the PS VITA, for the holidays? Well you’re right but stop it! We all know that the Playstation Vita won’t be around in North America in time for that! In fact the Vita won’t even make an appearance in time for Valentine’s Day. The new system will hit store shelves on February 22nd 2012. But let me tell you a little secret… it will be worth the wait.
Recently I had the chance to attempt some puzzle solving action in Little Big Planet for the PSVITA and get to know the VITA a little bit better in the process. In development from Double Eleven and Tarsier Studios, Little Big Planet for the VITA is an entirely new LBP experience. Our lovable Sackboy will continue to take us through the familiar puzzle platform we’ve grown to love with LBP but he also shows us some new experiences that fully utilize the VITA’s unique functionality.
As you familiarize yourself with the puzzle solving levels you will notice right away the need to become proficient with the VITA’s multi-touch display. Using a swipe of the finger (much like your iphone) you can propel Sackboy through a number of barriers. You will also find yourself utilizing the six axis sensors, the reverse touch screen, and the dual analogue sticks.
While all of these features are absolutely awesome they are sometimes challenging to use concurrently. During a portion of level gameplay there was a point at which I was required to use the analogue sticks along with the front and rear touch display. While it was possible I did find myself fumbling to readjust my grasp of the controls quickly. I have rather small hands and my thoughts went out to the all the big handed guys and gals out there who may not have the patience to constantly re-position the hands during gameplay.
Of course, as with all LBP titles, user created content will still be a large component of LBP for the VITA. Level creation will include all of the tools you enjoyed in LBP2 and you will be able to share them online with friends. While your levels can be shared online your costumes and stickers will be transferable to the PlayStation3. The VITA’s Wi-Fi and 3G options will make sharing with friends a real cinch.
Little Big Planet for the VITA will also include a slew of mini games proving that not all LBP is created platform. I had an especially fun time pwning GamerFitNation’s @nicfurlong at a nice game of air hockey (level of pwning is debatable). This is exactly the type of interaction that those long car rides with the kids could use. From the two player on screen to pass ‘ n play options to co-op play for up to four players, to the thriving LBP community, there is no arguing how social this game on this device can be.
My initial reaction to Little Big Planet on the PS VITA was similar to that of a child who’s first encounter with sugar was to consume a handful of pixie sticks. The amazement, the anticipation, the excited jitters, and also the crash. With a substantial wait for more LBP and the VITA, Little Big Planet 2 may have to make a return appearance on my PS3 (you know, to appease that monkey on my back, so to speak). And if you can wait that long then not only will you be a stronger person that I, but you may want to know a little more about the PS VITA in general. With a hefty price tag this is no small investment. But think of it more of a portable console than a handheld.
You can expect to see games like this on the VITA:
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
- Wipeout 2048
- Sound Shapes
- Gravity Rush
- ModNation Racers
- Rayman Origins
- Dynasty Warriors Next
- Resistance: Burning Skies
- Virtua Tennis 4
- Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
- And more!
Check out the trailer and let us know if you’ll be picking up the VITA.
PLAYSTATION®VITA (PS VITA) Technical Specifications direct from Sony.
PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) offers an unparalleledcombination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context, made possible by leveragingSCE’s experience from its acclaimed console and handheld entertainment systems.
Blurring the linesbetween interactive entertainment and reality, PS Vita enables revolutionary gaming experiences with dualanalog sticks, front and rear cameras, front multi-touch display, multi-touch rear pad, GPS, six-axis motionsensors, and three-axis electronic compass. This next generation portable entertainment system enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context.
Among the titles in development for PS Vita are offeringsfrom some of the biggest franchises as well as a myriad of original titles.
- Multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) front display
- Multi-touch pad on the rear of the device• Dual analog sticks
- Front and rear facing cameras
- A new game medium, a small flash memory based card, dedicated for PS Vita software titles
- Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axiselectronic compass.
- Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity
- PlayStation®Network access, including “LiveArea™” (a space for sharing with others), “near” (letsusers identify what friends in the vicinity are or were recently playing), “Party” (enables users toenjoy voice chat or text chat not only during online gaming, but also when they are playing differentgames or using different applications such as the internet browser), and “Activity” (it logs the latestaccomplishments from people playing the same games)
- Full PlayStation® Trophy Support
- Able to play PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) titles, minis and video from PlayStation®Store
And what else is great? The price point. $249.99 for Wifi systems and $299.00 for Wifi and 3G enabled systems.