TwitchTV, Alienware and SteelSeries Create Scholarship Program For Gamers
Alienware, Steelseries and TwitchTV have teamed up to create a scholarship program for U.S. college students who also happen to be really, really good at games. The 2012 TwitchTV and Alienware Scholarship, announced at E3 2012, will divide $50,000 equally among five students based on their academic credentials, achievements and passion for gaming.
Here's how it works: the 2012 TwitchTV and Alienware Scholarship will be awarded by a committee of industry experts who review all scholarship applications and select the winners based on grades, gaming achievements and (of course) an essay. In addition to providing said essay on what games mean to them, all applicants will submit a personal video demonstrating why they deserve academic funding, along with evidence of their gaming prowess (the TwitchTV press release suggests evidence like high ranks on a game leaderboard or a history of cash prizes earned at gaming tournaments).
The 2012 TwitchTV and Alienware Scholarship is accepting applications for a little over a month, starting June 5th and ending July 15th. The winners will be announced on August 15th, and you can find more details about the application process over at the TwitchTV Scholarship Program website. While this isn't the first scholarship program to recognize video games as a respectable hobby (the Penny Arcade Scholarship has been kicking out $10k checks to promising students since 2007), it's the first time I've ever seen an academic scholarship awarded -- at least in part -- because an applicant is good at video games. It's a bold push on the part of TwitchTV and their partners to further legitimize pro gaming, but if the promise of academic funding encourages students with a passion for games to write critically about their hobby (and hopefully defray the cost of a contemporary college education) I say more power to them.