Sony Online Entertainment - G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program Rules

SOE G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program

G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program

GAMERS IN REAL LIFE (G.I.R.L.) GAME DESIGN COMPETITION 2014 - OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

Participation constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. The Sony Online Entertainment ("SOE") Gamers in Real Life ("GiRL") Game Design Competition 2014 ("Competition") begins at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time ("PST") on February 5, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time ("PDT") on March 19, 2014 ("Competition Period"). The Competition is sponsored by Sony Online Entertainment LLC, 8928 Terman Court, San Diego, CA 92121 ("Sponsor") and is administered in part by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America, One Scholarship Way, St. Peter, MN 56082 ("Scholarship America"). Applications and submission components received after the Competition Period has concluded will not be considered or judged. One (1) winner will be announced on or about May 5, 2014.

Eligibility: Any individual who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2015 spring term is eligible to enter. Only the original author who submitted the e-application and created the Submission may enter or win (in the event of a dispute as to authorship, Sponsor and Scholarship America reserve the right to disqualify any entry, any of the Semifinalists or Finalists, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any winner; Sponsor's decisions are final). The Competition is open only to natural persons who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia) for the duration of the Competition. Void in Puerto Rico, Guam, all other U.S. and all foreign territories and possessions and wherever prohibited or restricted by law. The Competition may only be entered from and in eligible jurisdictions. Entrants must be eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry in order to participate. Employees, officers, directors, and agents of Scholarship America or Sponsor, its parent company, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, their immediate family members and persons living in their same household, are not eligible to participate in the Competition. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.

How to Enter: To enter: (i) review these Official Rules carefully; (ii) review any requirements posted on www.soe.com/girl; (iii) register with Scholarship America's website at https://www.scholarshipamerica.org/gamersinreallife/; (iv) complete and submit the online e-application available at https://www.scholarshipamerica.org/gamersinreallife/; and (v) submit the following to Sponsor (concept art, photo captions and essay are collectively, the "Submission"):

1. Concept Art or 3D Art Submit two (2) pieces of original concept art inspired by either PlanetSide 2® or the EverQuest®  franchise, including EverQuest, EverQuest II and EverQuest Next Landmark. Base both art pieces on your chosen game. Each piece of concept art must not exceed 1280 pixels in its longest dimension, saved as a high quality .jpeg, and the pieces together should collectively communicate the theme and style of the game that you selected. 3D art should be delivered as a render not exceeding 1280 pixels in its longest dimension, saved as a high quality .jpeg. Do NOT send 3D source files, but be prepared to submit source files if requested.

If you select PlanetSide 2, research the game by visiting the website www.PlanetSide2.com. One (1) piece must depict your own original PlanetSide 2 vehicle from one of the three (3) factions (Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty). The vehicle should be ¾ view color. One (1) piece must depict your own original PlanetSide 2 character with a weapon from one of the three (3) factions (Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty). The work should be in color. The character you create should be from the same faction as the vehicle and should be depicted in an interesting pose.

If you select a game from the EverQuest franchise, research it by visiting the appropriate website: www.EverQuest.com, www.EverQuest2.com or www.EQNLandmark.com. One (1) piece must depict your own original EverQuest game environment. Your color concept should communicate in a single image what it might be like to adventure in this environment. One (1) piece must depict your own original EverQuest character. The work should be in color. The character you create should relate to your game environment concept and should be depicted in an interesting pose.

For additional research on SOE titles and game art styles you can visit SOE Player Studio at: https://player-studio.soe.com/.

2. Captions A short caption (no longer than one paragraph in length) describing each piece of concept art you chose to create. Describe each piece in as much detail as possible. Send each caption attached as a separate Word document.

3. Essay A five hundred (500) word essay about women in the gaming industry that answers these two (2) questions: How can you change and improve the image of women in games? How do you think such changes will help create games that more women will want to play? Please attach as a separate Word document.

4. Name and Application ID In the body of your email and on all attachments, include your first and last name and your Application ID number. Your Application ID number can be found on emails sent to you confirming your e-application registration and submission, on the e-application pages, or on your printout of your e-application data.

Your Submission should be emailed to Sponsor (and not to Scholarship America) at gamersinreallife@soe.sony.com, and should include your Scholarship America application ID number. Your e-application must be submitted to Scholarship America and your Submission must be emailed to Sponsor and received by Sponsor by March 19, 2014 to be considered. Incomplete e-applications, applications not submitted online through Scholarship America's e-application process, applications submitted directly to Sponsor, any Submission submitted to Scholarship America, and any Submission not meeting the Submission Requirements stated below will not be considered and will be disqualified. Any Submission posted on any game-related website forum will not be accepted for entry, and any Submission that requires non-generic, plug-in applications will not be opened or considered for entry.

A panel of judges, consisting of members of Sponsor's executive team, development team and marketing/PR team, and whose decisions are final and binding in all respects, will review each Submission, and will evaluate the quality of each Submission based on a 1-50 point scale, and based on the result of such evaluation, Sponsor will submit a list of no more than one hundred (100) applicants to Scholarship America. Scholarship America will disqualify applicants from this list who do not meet the eligibility criteria set forth in the Eligibility section above, will review the academic information contained in the online e-applications of the applicants still remaining on such list, and will request transcripts from approximately forty (40) of such applicants ("Semifinalists"). Transcripts must be submitted to Scholarship America no later than April 18, 2014. Applicants who do not submit transcripts by such date will be disqualified.

From the list of Semifinalists who submit transcripts to Scholarship America by the transcript deadline date and who have not otherwise been disqualified, Scholarship America will select up to fifteen (15) finalists ("Finalists") based on the following criteria, weighted evenly: (i) academic performance; and (ii) demonstrated leadership and participation in community activities and work experience (if any). Scholarship America will submit the names of the Finalists to Sponsor or about Apri 25, 2014. Each Submission from the list of Finalists will be judged by a panel of industry professionals employed by Sponsor. See Determination of Winner section below for more details on the judging process. One (1) winner will be chosen by Sponsor's panel of judges, and announced on or about May 5, 2014.

Submission Requirements: Each Submission must be the entrant's original work. With the exception of Sponsor materials which are included in the entry (according to the terms and conditions set forth in the Terms of Service), all content of each Submission component must be the entrant's original design and creation, executed solely by the entrant. The content of the Submission components must not be subject to the rights of any third parties, other than Sponsor or its licensors (if applicable). The content may not be offensive or otherwise unsuitable for use, as determined in Sponsor's sole discretion. Entrants not complying with these requirements will be disqualified. Entrants must comply with the Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and all Competition rules (including these Official Rules), regulations, and policies. Entrants not complying with these requirements will be disqualified. By participating in the Competition, you grant Sponsor an irrevocable right and license to publish, use, edit, and display any or all of the content in your Submission, without further approval, without territorial, time, or other limitations, for any and all purposes, including, but not limited to, marketing, advertising, and promotional purposes.

Determination of Winner: Submissions of eligible Finalists will be judged by a panel of judges, consisting of members of Sponsor's executive team development team and marketing/PR team, according to the criteria set forth below, and whose decisions are final and binding in all respects. The panel of judges will use the following criteria to determine the winner: the panel of judges will use a 0-100 point scale, with 0-25 points for originality, 0-25 points for visual polish, 0-25 points for essay cohesiveness and 0-25 points for: (i) improving images of women in games, (ii) increasing interest of women playing games and (iii) market vision and product strategy. Sponsor will select one (1) winner from all eligible Finalists, and the eligible person among the Finalists receiving the most points from the judges will be the potential winner, subject to verification of eligibility by Sponsor. In the event of a tie, Sponsor's panel of judges will re-evaluate and compare the tied entries based on the above-listed criteria and will determine a winner; Sponsor's decisions are final. The winner will only be selected from those eligible entries of Finalists meeting the judging criteria set forth herein and, if no entry meets the criteria set forth above, in the panel's sole and absolute discretion, then no winner will be chosen. Judges may additionally designate Honorable Mentions for publication on the G.i.R.L. website or forums at its discretion. Limit one (1) entry per person during the duration of the Competition. Any attempt at entry except as above stated is void. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person or email address that submits multiple entries. Any submission of robotic, automatic or programmed entries, or any entries submitted by agencies, other third parties, or through other unapproved methods are void.

Description of Prize: One (1) grand prize package will be awarded: Ten Thousand Dollars (US$10,000.00) scholarship to be applied directly toward the winner's tuition and other educational expenses via one (1) direct payment to the winner's school in which the winner is enrolled, and an internship of up to ten (10) weeks at Sponsor's headquarters located in San Diego, California; room, board, transportation and living expenses not included. In the event that the winner fails to comply with these Official Rules or is no longer an eligible student in good standing at his or her stated educational institution, then any unapplied balance of the prize will be forfeited. Maximum approximate retail value (ARV) of prize: US$14,000.00. The winner will be displayed (subject to Sponsor guidelines, standards, and practices, and in a manner and location determined by Sponsor in its discretion) on the www.soe.com/girl website and/or any other G.i.R.L.-related and/or Sponsor-owned website in Sponsor's sole discretion.

General Limitations for all Prizes: No alternative prize, cash, or other substitution is permitted except by Sponsor in the event of prize unavailability. Prize is nontransferable. All federal, state, and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner. A total of one (1) prize will be awarded. Maximum ARV of the Prize: US$14,000.00. The potential winner will be notified by e-mail or first class mail within five (5) days of the conclusion of the judging. Each potential winner will have five (5) days from notification to accept the prize by e-mail or by U.S. mail to the address specified in the notification.

Requirements of Winner: Each potential winner may be required to sign and return releases of liability, declarations of eligibility, and where lawful, publicity consent agreements, within five (5) days of acknowledged notification. By agreeing to become a winner you agree to the use of your name, voice and/or likeness, and Submission in any media, for any purpose, including without limitation, for advertising, marketing, trade, or promotion without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. If a selected potential winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible (under these Official Rules or due to a failure to comply with any of the other applicable policies, licenses, rules, and terms of service, or fails to timely return the completed and executed releases/agreements as required), potential winner status may be forfeited and an alternate potential winner may, at Sponsor's discretion, be selected.

General Terms and Conditions: By participating in the Competition, entrant agrees that under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, shall Sponsor or its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents, successors, and assigns (the "Released Parties") be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising out participation in the Competition, even if any or all of the Released Parties have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, therefore such exclusions may not apply to you. By participating in the Competition, entrant waives any and all rights to bring any claim or action related to his/her participation in any forum beyond one (1) year after the first occurrence of the kind of act, event, condition or omission upon which the claim or action is based. By entering, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Scholarship America and Sponsor, which shall be binding and final. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person, entry, or e-mail address that Sponsor determines to be in violation of any term contained in these Official Rules. Sponsor, its licensors, its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors, and its employees, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, and representatives, are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: (i) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, stolen, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible or postage-due entries, notices, releases, forms, affidavits, or other correspondence; (ii) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, interruptions or difficulties of any kind; (iii) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions; (iv) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsor that may cause the Competition to be disrupted or corrupted; (v) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result from participation in the Competition or arising from the entrant's access to and use of the Internet site www.soe.com/girl (and all related websites of Sponsor) or https://www.scholarshipamerica.org/gamersinreallife/, including without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy, to the extent permitted by law; or (vi) any errors in any materials associated with the Competition. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition if any problem corrupts the administration, security, or operation of the Competition, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Disputes: The Competition is governed by the laws of the United States and the State of California. As a condition of participating in the Competition, entrant agrees that any and all actions or proceedings related to the Competition shall be exclusively brought in the County of San Diego, State of California (if under state law) or the Southern District of California (if under Federal law), and the parties agree not to raise in connection therewith, and hereby waive, any defenses based upon the venue, the inconvenience of the forum, the lack of personal jurisdiction, the sufficiency of service of process or the like in any such action or suit brought in the State of California.

Winner List and Official Rules: The winner's name will be posted on the web site at www.soe.com/girl, or an underlying webpage thereto, at the conclusion of the Competition. To obtain a copy of the winner list or a copy of these Official Rules, send your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Attn: PR Department "Sony Online Entertainment Gamers in Real Life (G.i.R.L.) Game Design Competition 2014," Sony Online Entertainment LLC, 8928 Terman Court, San Diego, CA 92121. Requests must be received no later than August 31, 2014.