The IGDA Scholarships are among the most coveted awards for promising students in game development and related disciplines. The program began in 2001 with a select group of students receiving an all-access pass to GDC. In the intervening years, the program has expanded globally to include a number of different conferences such as E3, Casual Connect, the Develop conference in Brighton, the Tokyo Game Show and more.
The scholarships are awarded to the most promising students studying anything related to game development. Scholars still receive an all-access pass, just like they always have, but now it also includes a lot more - mentorship from members of industry, opportunities to visit local studios or even meeting with senior figures in the industry.
The insights gained from being a scholar can help students to gain a much broader understanding of the industry they are aspiring to work in, and is an excellent opportunity to be introduced to many prominent figures within the industry. And as a Scholar, you will also be bonding with some of the other bright young minds emerging within the industry.
The Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship
The Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship is slightly different from the other scholarships in that it is awarded by the IGDA Foundation (the charitable arm of the IGDA), rather than directly through the core program. This special scholarship commemorates Eric Dybsand, a game developer who specialised in Artificial Intelligence, who was fully committed to the community. In fact, Eric founded the Colorado Game Developers group, which today is an IGDA chapter, and believed to be the longest continually running group of its kind, having started in 1987. Eric was renowned for engaging with people and encouraging them, particularly at GDC where he was an established feature of the AI roundtables. In his memory, each year one applicant who has an interest in AI is selected from those who apply to be awarded a Scholarship to GDC. That Scholar will attend the AI Summit, and receive special consideration by the AI Game Programmers Guild. The Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship also includes a bursary, administered by the IGDA Foundation.