EVO, sponsors of the largest and longest-running fighting game tournaments in the world, and the NYU Game Center, a new department within the Tisch School of the Arts, today announced the creation of the first scholarship ever to support the study of game design exclusively targeted to members of the fighting game community.
The EVO Scholarship will be awarded annually to an applicant who best demonstrates an active participation in the fighting game community, as well an interest in game design with a focus on innovating in the field of competitive games. Legitimate financial need will also be considered.
“The Game Center is committed not only to study, but to encourage participation and development in the field of gaming,” said Frank Lantz, Chair of the NYU Tisch Game Center. “One of the most vibrant and innovative aspects of contemporary game design culture is the rise of high-level competitive gaming. EVO has been a pioneer in developing this community, so we’re honored that they chose to support students to study here at NYU.”
Digital competitive gaming tournaments, or e-Sports, came to rise in the early 1990s and focus on the high-stakes world of pro-gaming, in which top players compete for cash prizes and lucrative sponsorship deals. According to EVO Founder Tom Cannon, EVO is interested in using the scholarship to highlight other qualities of the competitive gaming scene, in particular the values of community, focus, discipline, and critical thinking.
“The goal of the scholarship is to showcase how a commitment to mastering a competitive game can be a key ingredient in a successful, well-rounded life,” Cannon said.
Through the NYU Game Center scholarship, EVO hopes to validate competitive gaming as an important and valuable domain within games and game design pedagogy – a goal in keeping with that of the NYU Tisch Game Center.
“Fighting games combine the strategic depth of Chess with the technical mastery of a physical sport, and understanding them is critical to understanding the future of games as a cultural form,” Lantz added. “And given the ethnic and economic diversity of the fighting game community, we see the EVO Scholarship is also an opportunity to provide a path into the game industry for underrepresented voices who can bring much needed new perspectives to the world of game design.”
The amount of the EVO Scholarship will be determined by the money generated by the EVO Pay-per-view HD live stream, so the greater the online audience for the event, the larger the scholarship amount. Based on previous years the amount is estimated to be between $20,000 and $30,000.
About the Game Center at NYU Tisch
The Game Center offers a 2-year Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program that explores the design and development of games as a creative practice. The curriculum is centered on the creation of games and includes game design, criticism, programming, and visual design. For more information, visit http://gamecenter.nyu.edu.