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Casual Connect 2013 and the IGDA Summit are July 30-Aug. 1

IGDA SummitCasual Connect San Francisco and the IGDA Summit this year are trying an experiment by sharing their schedule and venues at the San Francisco downtown Hilton.

I'm a long time supporter of both the Casual Games Association and the IGDA (which Ernest Adams should get a lot more credit for founding than I perceive to be the case), so it would be great to see this arrangement work out well for both teams.

And yes, I acknowledge that the IGDA is embroiled (yet again) in (largely unproductive) controversy over its mission this year.  These windstorms tend to divert attention from the fact that there are great IGDA chapters all over the world that are meeting regularly to discuss the art form that we practice and advance the craft of game making.  Go to any of those meetingsd and you'll see the true strength of the organization in the commitment of the people there to growing and evolving each of our creative crafts.

But I digress.

At the conference this year I'll be on the IGDA side of the house, presenting an updated version of the talk I gave at GDC, "10 Questions: Am I Ready to Go Indie?"  I hope to see you there!

Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont Scholarships Now Open for Applications

Pausch Beaumont

I serve in the volunteer position of President of The AIAS Foundation, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ philanthropic organization.  Our Board has the privilege of working to further the training and professional development of future generations of games industry leaders.

We've just opened the website for students to submit applications for the 2013 Randy Pausch Scholarships (named after the late Carnegie Mellon ETC Founder and author of "The Last Lecture," Randy Pausch) and Mark Beaumont Scholarships (named for longtime industry leader and respected Capcom executive Mark Beaumont).

The scholarships are valued at $2,500 each, and the deadline to apply is June 28, 2013.

These scholarships are available to students currently enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level who are planning on pursuing a career in the games industry. The Pausch Scholarship is focused on students planning careers in Game Development (art, animation, programming, engineering, production, game design, sound design, music composition, and other fields of development), while the Beaumont Scholarship focuses on students planning careers in the business of games (management, law, marketing, public relations, business development and related fields).  

I'd recommend that you take a generous view of what "game development" and "business" might include, and don't hesitate to apply for one or both of the scholarships even if your games career aspirations don't fall neatly into any one category.

One final suggestion:  The Scholarships require a minimum GPA of 3.3, but so long as you meet that requirement don't tell yourself "Oh, they'll never pick me, so I shouldn't bother to apply."  We have awarded past scholarships to men and women in a wide array of programs and career paths from around the world, several of whom have told us, "Wow, I never expected to win!"  Use that as your motivation to prepare your application, because you could be surprised when you win, too!

The Application Form for the Randy Pausch Scholarship is available now.

The Application Form for the Mark Beaumont Scholarship is also available now.

For more information about the AIAS Foundation's scholarship programs you can visit the AIAS Foundation's scholarships page

If you'd like to donate to the funds for future Pausch or Beaumont scholarships or fund a scholarship to honor another individual, please contact Alicia Padia Walles at the AIAS.  All donations are tax deductible.