UPDATE: We’ll be at EVO 7/11 – 7/13 meeting folks who are interested in the scholarship and showing some of the best competitive games made by our students.

NYU Game Center Partners with Competitive Gaming Tournament to Offer a New Scholarship!

The EVO Scholarship will allow a member of the fighting game community to study game design at the prestigious NYU Game Center MFA program.

The NYU Game Center, a new department within the Tisch School of the Arts, is focused on game design as a creative practice. One of the most vibrant and innovative aspects of contemporary game design culture is the rise of high-level competitive gaming, sometimes known as e-Sports.  This past weekend at Spring Fighter, the Game Center announced a scholarship funded by EVO, the world’s largest fighting game tournament and a premier competitive gaming venue.

The EVO Scholarship will be awarded annually to an applicant who best demonstrates an active participation in the fighting game community, an interest in game design with a focus on innovating in the field of competitive games, and a legitimate financial need.

Much of the attention surrounding the rise of e-Sports is focused on the high-stakes world of pro- gaming, in which top players compete for cash prizes and lucrative sponsorship deals. But Tom Cannon, the founder of EVO, is interested in using the scholarship to highlight other qualities of the competitive gaming scene – the values of community, focus, discipline, and critical thinking. The goal of the scholarship, says Cannon, is to “showcase how a commitment to mastering a competitive game can be a key ingredient in a successful, well-rounded life.”

For the NYU Game Center, this scholarship is an opportunity to bring attention to the competitive gaming scene as an important and valuable domain for thinking about games and game design. According to Frank Lantz, Director of the 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.”

The fighting game community is known for its ethnic and socio-cultural diversity and 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.

For more information on the event go to http://evo.shoryuken.com/

Spring Fighter Success!

In addition to the EVO Scholarship, Spring Fighter was a huge success!  We filled the venue with tournaments running all day and into the night, heard an amazing conversation between Daigo Umehara and Seth Killian about Daigo’s life as a competitor, and some fighters even got the chance to go head to head with Daigo in front of the whole crowd and the online stream.

Mad Catz was there to film the whole event, and the talk is especially exciting for us to share.  Even for those not interested or literate in Street Fighter, Seth and Daigo’s conversation covered on topics familiar to all sports fans and game players.  A rare opportunity to hear from a high level competitor, and well worth the watch.

Check out the Mad Catz and Fight Your Rival channels for other great videos from the event including interviews with the players and organizers, footage from the tournament, and more.

Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, Mad Catz, Capcom, Daigo, Seth, Wyseguy, Team Spooky, and the entire fighting game community.