people playing games at the brooklyn brewery

Games are in the midst of a radical evolution – transforming into an important cultural domain with complex and mature expressive power. One of the main engines driving this evolution is a thriving indie development scene. The Festival Scholarship is an affirmation of our commitment to this new generation of smaller-scale, passion-driven, experimental game development.

This scholarship also reflects our recognition that festivals have an important role within the indie scene, identifying and supporting talented young developers who are doing groundbreaking work and taking creative risks.

For these talented developers who are already creating and showcasing games, the Festival Scholarship offers $25,000 towards our Game Design MFA program. We believe that people with experience developing projects that were chosen for public showcases are in a position to maximally benefit from a degree in game design. The Festival Scholarship aims to support those creators in their pursuit of evolving the expressive potential of games.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to an individual whose game has been selected for inclusion in a game-specific festival, event, or competition.

To apply for the Festival Scholarship, applicants can indicate interest on the Slideroom Application. Applicants will need to include the name of the game, name & date of the festival the game was part of, and the applicant’s role on the project.

The following festivals, events, and competitions are eligible:

  • IndieCade
  • Independent Games Festival (IGF)
  • PAX10
  • Ludicious
  • SxSW Interactive/Gaming
  • A MAZE
  • The Games for Change Festival (G4C)
  • Brazilian Independent Game (BIG) Festival
  • Boston Festival of Indie Games
  • Tokyo Game Show
  • MIGS
  • Fantastic Arcade
  • Taipei Game Show
  • AzPlay (formally hoPlay)
  • Alt.ctrl @ GDC
  • Unity Awards
  • Intel Student Awards
  • Other game-specific events not listed here, with a formal judging or nomination process

Previous Festival Scholarship Games